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MAY 1988 


BAEHR, B. & BAEHR, M. 13-20 

On Australian Hersiliidae (Arachnida: Araneae) from the South Australian 
Museum. Supplement to the revision of the Australian Hersiliidae 

BARKER, R.M. 173-188 

Yanyuwa canoe making 

CLARKE, P.A. 63-76 

Aboriginal use of subterranean plant parts in southern South Australia 

CLEVERLY, W.H. 41-48 

Australites from the vicinity of Finke, Northern Territory, Australia 

GOMMERS, EL. 131-138 

Diamonds from the Echunga Goldfields, South Australia 


Fossil mollusc type specimens in the South Australian Museum. 
I. Polyplacophora 

HEMMING, S.J. 191-193 

Ngurunderi: a Ngarrindjeri Dreaming 

HIRST, D. 77 

Amended type localities of five species of spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) 
described by H. R. Hogg in 1905 

HORTON, P. 189 

Review of The Dynamic Partnership: Birds and Plants in Southern Australia* 

LAMPERT, R.J. & HUGHES, P.J. 139-168 

Early human occupation of the Flinders Ranges 

PICKERING, M. & DEVITT, J. 169-171 

Notes on a wooden implement type from north-eastern Arnhem Land 


Osteological differences of the axial skeleton between Lasiorhinus latifrons 
(Owen, 1845) and Vombatus ursinus (Shaw, 1800) (Marsupialia: Vombatidae) 

SCOTT, G.G. & RICHARDSON, K.C. 95-102 

Appendicular osteological differences between Lasiorhinus latifrons (Owen, 
1845) and Vombatus ursinus (Shaw, 1800) (Marsupialia: Vombatidae) 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 103-116 

Two new larval mites (Acarina: Erythraeidae) ectoparasitic on north 
Queensland cicadas 

STROMMER, N.G. 79-93 

Genera Nabis Latreille and Stenonabis Reuter (Hemiptera: Nabidae) in 

WATTS, C.H.S. 21-28 

Revision of Australian Halipilidae (Coleoptera) 

WATTS, C.H.S. 117-130 

Revision of Australasian Hydrophilus Muller, 1764 (Coleoptera: 

WHITE, I.M. 49-51 

The limits on fighting in an Aboriginal community 

WILLIAMS, E. 53-62 

The archaeology of the Cooper Basin: report on fieldwork 

Erratum for Volume 22(1) 195 

Volume 22(1) was published on 4 July 1988. 
Volume 22(2) was published on 19 December 1988. 

ISSN 0081-2676 



byK. L. Gowlett-Holmes & B. 7. Mchenry 


The South Australian Museum collection of fossil chiton types is the largest in the southern 
hemisphere. It contains primary type material, and some secondary types, of 63 species and 
subspecies. A further species is represented only by secondary types. All species are from the 
Tertiary strata of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. Species are listed 
alphabetically according to the original name of the genus or species. 




GOWLETT-HOLMES. K. L., & MCHENRY, B. J. 1988. Fossil mollusc type 8$Cgft£fta in Ihc South 
Australian Museum I . Polyplacophora. /?*•<-. S. Aust Mu.\ 22 (I): I 11. 

The South Australian Museum collection of fossil chiton tv|K*.s K rbe largest m the southern 
hemisphere, It contains primary type material, and some secondary types, of <S3 species jih) sub-species. 
A further species is represented only by secondary types. All species are from the Tertiary strata of 
Victoria. South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand -Species are listed alphabetically according m the 
original name of the genus or specie.*. 

K. L. Gowlett-Holmes & B J. McHenry, South Australian Museum, North Terrace. Adelaide. South 
Australia 5000. Manuscript received 10 Februao' I9K7. 

Most of the fossil chiton types in ihe South Austra- 
lian Museum are due to the work of E. Ashby, mainly 
in conjunction with B.C. Cotton and W.G. Torr. Other 
fossil chiton types are the result of the Work of Cotton 
& Godfrey Since Cotton & Godfrey ( 1940) little has 
been published on Australian fossil chitons, and no 
further types have been added to the collection. 

We believe that the South Australian Museum col- 
lection of fossil chilon types is the largesl in the 
SQUthQJH hemisphere and one of the more significant 
collections in the wo/Id. it includes type material for 
64 .species or subspecies, all of which have been 
verified by us according to available material and 
information. The specimens are all individual valves. 
and are listed as 'complete' when the insertion plates 
and Mitural lamina are present, as 'incomplete when 
these are missing or the valve shghtiy damaged, or a.s 
'fragment' when less than hall of the valve is present m 
one piece. 

In Ihc following list, species are arranged 
alphabetically in families under the original name at 
the time of description. Changes in familial slants 
have been cross-referenced. The present status of each 
species is, unless indicated otherwise, according to 
van Belle (1981), except thai the family 
Afossochitonidae is not recognised following 
Gowlett-Holmes ( 1987'). The following abbreviations 
are used in the text NMV = Museum of Victoria, 
Melbourne; N.Z. * New Zealand; BA = South 
Australia: SAMA - South Australian Museum, 
Adelaide; Tas. - Tasmania; Vic. - Victoria. 

Straiiurapiiicai Notts 

All fossil chiton types in the South Australian 
Museum come from the Tertiary strata of Victoria. 
South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, ranging 
from early Miocene to late Pliocene (Tables 1. 2). 

During this study il was noticed that (here were several 
inaccuracies and ambiguities in the geological data of 
the original type descriptions, so It is necessary te 
make some corrections and clarifications at this stage. 
According to Johnston ( 1 877), the fossiliferous beds al 
Table Cape, Tasmania, occur at two small bluffs neai 
the township of Wynyard, The Table Cape Group 
exposed here includes two formations; the Freestone 
Cove Sandstone (the 'Crassatella Beds' of Johnston .1 
which grades upwards into the overlying Fossil Bluff 
Sandstone (Banks 1962). Ashby (1029) proposed the 
Lower Bed' at Table Cape to be ihc type locality and 
horizon for Lotitella gigantea Ashby & Torr. ]jN)l< 
Quilty {J 972) refers to chiton plates in the lower six 
inches' of the Freestone Cove Sandstone and we be- 
lieve this to be Ihe level from which the Ashby speci- 
mens were collected. At that time, the age of the fossil 
deposits at Table Cape was thought to he Eocene 
(Johnston 1880. 1885, Pritchard 1896) and was until 
quite recently believed to be Janjukian (Banks 1962). 
Later studies (Quilty 1966; Ludhrook 1967a, 1973) 
have shown these strata to be Longfordtan, thus the 
Janjukian age of the Table Cape chilon lypes needs 
further consideration. 

The original description oJ Lepidopleurus 
clifdencn.sis Ashby, 1929 states that this species is 
from Clifden at the southern end of the South Island of 
New Zealand and is Hutchinsonian (basal early 
Miocene) in age, but no stratigraphical data are sup- 
plied, Both B.L. Wood in Suggate €1 al \ 1978) and 
Ludhrook (1967b) indicate thai Hutchinsonian strata 
ai Clifden are most likely the Clifden Limestone, and 
so we believe this to be the formation from which ihis 
species was collected. 

The fossii locality al Gellibrand River. Victoria, 
occurs in either Ihe Longfordian-Bate&fordian Gelli- 
brand Marl or the underlying Janjukian Longfordian 
Clifton Formation. Both of these units crop out on the 



10 -l 

20 - 







kai imnan 
:hpi tfnhamian 


















TABLE 1 . Generalised correlaiion chan for the relevant fossil chiton horizons of south-eastern Australia and New Zealand. 



















Acanthochilon (Eoptax) 

Acanthochilon drunus 

Acanthochiton casus 

AuMttiachitss (Netopia* ) 

Chiton tossicus 

Lepidc-pleurus clitttensts 


A torsytbansis 

A pilsbryoides 


C paucipustulosa 

Chiton (Attthochlton) 

A (Ltrachitonl inetpectus 

A sabraius 

A tQ&tratuh 

Lorica aftinls 

A smgtatoni 

Atfosocbtton cudmoiBi 

Acanthocbiton balcombiansis 

L. oompressa 

Cryptopla* ludbrookap 

A. inanauloioes 

A (Tetoctitton) dendus 

Cattochitan (Ocellochtton) 

Loncetlla gigantea 

Amsochiton (letochiton) 

A. (Telochiton) iscus 



Caltlstochiton reticulatM 

A suici 

Ischnochiton (Rasidla) 

Anfhochiton duadnni 


A marxtanatdansis 

Lopidaplfurus badtoides 

A. octocosiatus 

L itlvarsigranosus 

Cryptoplax numicus 

L maonogranHar 

C sicus 

I niva'us 

Cattistochiion greedt 

L pamptuiius 

C imiipeclus 

I relatus 

C reticulatus 

Aulacochiton erma 

Catinchihi't macdonaldt 

i orica oajltta 

Isochnociiiton cossyms 

L vaton* 

1 Ourius 

Oocbiton "alii 

1 nwglBvlus 

1 numanitvs 

I. tlsuruz 

I valerian 

1 vmajtis 

Bsicliiton pulchemmus 

t iipidopiewun babidus 

L badioidfts 

L. aaphus 

L sinervus 

1 singutt 

L uxettus- 

Molacbiton naxus 

i oricella concava 

t magHtpiixtulosa 

TABLE 2. Geographic and stratigraphic distribution of SAMA fossil chiton types. Species are listed under their original 
names, see text for changes and synonymies. 


coast of western Victoria approximately 1 km north of 
the mouth of the Gellibrand River (Abele el al. 1976). 
Although the type specimens oiPlaxiphora concen- 
trica and P. gellibrandi were designated as corning 
from this locality, subsequent examination of the 
valves by the authors has led us to believe that the 
specimens are in fact recent examples of the living 
species Plaxiphora (P.) albida, and not fossil remains 
at all. 

Species described from Mornington, Balcombe 
Bay and Schnapper Point, Victoria, all come from the 
early (Batesfordian) to middle (Bairnsdalian) 
Miocene Balcombe Clay, a unit within the Fyansford 
Formation which crops out along the eastern coast of 
Port Phillip Bay, Vic, in the region of Mornington. 
The two main fossil localities for this formation are 
Fossil Beach (the type section for the Balcombian 
Stage) and south of Manyung Rocks. It should be 
noted that at Schnapper Point the exposed sediments 
belong to the non-fossiiiferous fluviatile Baxter 
Sandstone of Mitchellian to Cheltenhamian age 
(Gostin 1966). so it appears that the fossils described 
from this locality must represent material from either 
Fossil Beach or south of Manyung Rocks. 

The species described from the Hamilton area of 
Victoria come from the fossil localities at MacDonalds 
(Bank), Clifton Bank and Forsyths (Bank). The local- 
ity at Clifton Bank occurs in the Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian Muddy Creek Marl which crops out on 
Muddy Creek. Disconformably overlying this form- 
ation is the Kalimnan (early Pliocene) Grange Burn 
Formation which occurs on Muddy Creek at 
MacDonalds (Bank) and on Grange Burn at Forsyths 
(Bank) (Spencer- Jones 1971). It should be noted that 
Ashby's locality for Clifton Bank is incorrect, as it is 
situated on Muddy Creek not Grange Burn. 

The species described from South Australia are 
from Torrensville Bore and Holden's Bore at 
Woodville, both in western suburbs of Adelaide. All 
three species come from the late Pliocene (Yalalan) 
Dry Creek Sands.Where possible, the original type 
localities have been updated. 


Genus Acanthochites Risso, 1826 

Acanthochites (Notoplax) granulosus Ashby & Ton-, 


Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 25(2): 139, pl.4, fig. 9. 

= Protochiton granulosus (Ashby & Torr, 1901) 


Syntypes: T844, 1 incomplete median valve, from 

Schnapper Point, Mornington, Vic, Balcombe Clay, 

early to middle Miocene (Batesfordian - 

Bairnsdalian), collector and date of collection 

unknown.T845, 1 incomplete median valve, same 

collection data as T844. 

Note: See note on Schnapper Point in the Stratigraphi- 

cal Notes. 

Acanthochites rostratus Ashby & Torr, 1901 
Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 25 (2): 140, pi. 4, fig. 5. 
= Afossochiton rostratus (Ashby & Torr. 1901 ). 
Holotype: T84I, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Schnapper Point, Mornington, Vic, Balcombe Clay, 
early to middle Miocene (Batesfordian - 
Bairnsdalian), collected by R. Tate and J. Dennant, 
date of collection unknown. 

Note: See note on Schnapper Point in Stratigraphieal 
Notes. Type unique. 

Genus Acanthochilon Gray, 1821 em. Iredale, 1915. 

Acanthochiton (Eoplax) adelaidae Ashby & Cotton, 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 5 (4): 510, fig. 2. 
= Notoplax adelaidae (Ashby & Cotton, 1936). 
Holotype: P10159 (ex D12882), 1 incomplete median 
valve, from 151 m depth, Torrensville Bore, Adelaide, 
S.A., Dry Creek Sands, late Pliocene (Yatalan), col- 
lected by W.J. Kimber, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Acanthochiton balcombiensis Ashby, 1939 
Proc. Linn. Soc. Land. 151(3): 188, pi. 3, fig. 4. 
= Acanthochitona balcombiensis Ashby, 1939. 
Holotype: PI 01 60, I incomplete median valve, from 
Balcombe Bay, Mornington, Vic, Balcombe Clay, 
early to middle Miocene (Batesfordian— 
Bairnsdalian), collected by F.A. Cudmore, date of 
collection unknown. Note: Type unique. 

Acanthochiton casus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 214, pi. 20, fig. 30. 
= Acanthochitona casa Ashby & Cotton, 1939. 
Holotype: P4349, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. 

Note: Cotton and Weeding ( 1 94 1 ) suggest this species 
may be a juvenile of Afossochiton cudmorei Ashby, 
1925, which is followed by van Belle (1981). How- 
ever, we believe the specimen is adult and represents 
a distinct species of Acanthochitona. Type unique. 

Acanthochiton drunus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 214, pi. 20, fig. 29. 
= Acanthochitona druna Ashby & Cotton, 1939. 
Holotype: P4348, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 


Acanthochiton forsythensis Ashby & Cotton, 1939 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 213, pi. 20, fig. 27. 

= Acanthochitona forsythensis Ashby & Cotton, 1 939. 

Holotype: P4345, 1 incomplete median valve, from 

Forsyths (Bank), Grange Burn, Hamilton, Vic, 

Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 

collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Paratype: P10156, 1 incomplete median valve, with 

same collection data as holotype. 

Note: The specimen from Clifton Bank recorded by 

Ashby & Cotton (1939) is missing, presumed lost. 

Acanthochiton (Lirachiton) inexpectus Ashby & 

Cotton, 1939 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus, 6 (3): 215, pL 20, fig. 31. 

= Notoplax (Bassethullia) inexpecta (Ashby & Cotton, 


Holotype: P4350, 1 complete posterior valve, from 

MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 

Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 

collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Note: Generic placement follows Gowlett-Holmcs 

(1987). Type unique. 

Acanthochiton pilsbryoides Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 216, pi .20, fig. 27. 
= Acanthochitona pilsbryoides Ashby & Cotton, 

Holotype: P4346, 1 complete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Acanthochiton sabratus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus.6(3): 215, pi. 20, fig. 25. 
= Acanthochitona sabrata Ashby & Cotton, 1939. 
Holotype: P4344, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Baleombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. 

Note: Originally labelled and registered as Acan- 
thochiton parus, later corrected to A. sabratus. A. 
partis may have been the original manuscript name, 
but was never published. Type unique. 

Acanthochiton singletoni Cotton & Godfrey, 1940 

The Molluscs of South Australia Part IF p. 570, fig. 


= Acanthochitona singletoni Cotton & Godfrey, 


Holotype: P4341, 1 complete median valve, from 

MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 

Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 

collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Note: This specimen was originally recorded as 
Afossochiton cudmorei Ashby, 1 925 by Ashby & Cot- 
ton (1939), and incorrectly labelled 'holotype 1 on the 
plate caption. Type unique. 

Acanthochiton trianguloides Ashby & Cotton, 1939 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 216. pi. 20, fig. 28. 

= Acanthochitona trianguloides Ashby & Cotton. 


Holotype: P4347, I incomplete median valve, from 

Forsyths (Bank), Grange Burn, Hamilton, Vic, 

Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 

collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Note: Type unique. 

Genus Afossochiton Ashby, 1925 

Afossochiton cudmorei Ashby, 1925 
Proc. R. Soc. Vic. (NS) 37(2): 179, pi. 18, figs 6, 7. 
Paratypes: P10150, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collector and date of collection un- 
known. T846, 1 incomplete median valve, same col- 
lection data as P 1 1 50. 

Note: P10I50 is registered as from Balcombe Bay, 
Vic and labelled as from MacDonalds, Muddy Creek. 
However, as it is definitely Ashby's (1925) figured 
specimen 'No. 2, paratype' we regard both the register 
and the label as incorrect. T846 corresponds to 
Ashby's (1925) specimen 'No. 3, paratype'. Holotype 

Afossochiton (Telochiton) dendus Ashby & Cotton, 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 211, pi. 20, fig. 24. 
= Afossochiton dendus Ashby & Cotton, 1939. 
Holotype: P4342, I incomplete anterior valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Afossochiton (Telochiton) iscus Ashby & Cotton. 


Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 212, pi. 19, fig. 20. 

= Afossochiton iscus Ashby & Cotton, 1939. 

Holotype: P4339, 1 complete posterior valve, from 

Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 

Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 

Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of 

collection unknown. 

Note: Type unique. 

Afossochiton (Telochiton) magnicostatus Ashby & 

Cotton, 1939 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 212, pi. 20, fig. 23. 


-Afifssoihuon maxim -attains Ashby & Cotton, 1 939. 
Holotype: P4343. I incomplete median valve, from 
MaeDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vie., 
Grunge Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan). 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique, 

Afosxochiton xulci Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rtt\ S, Aust. Mas. 6(3): 210, pi. 20, fig. 21. 
Hololype: P4340, I complete anterior valve, from 
MaeDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic. f 
Grange Bum Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnati), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Genus Noioplav H Adams, 1861 

Motat futon naxus Ashby &. Cotton. 1939 

=Nomplax(Basseihi4lUuiinexptrta\Ashb\ & Cotton, 




Genus Anthochiton Thielc. 1893 

Anthochiton duodeni Ashby & Cotton, 1939 

Ret S. At4st. Mm. 6(3): 235, pi. 20, fig. 38. 

= Chiton (Rhvssoplax) duodeni (Ashbv & Cotton, 


Holotype: P4357, I incomplete median valve, from 

MaeDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek. Hamilton. Vic, 

Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kaliinnan), 

collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Note. Type unique. 

Anthochiton nmedonaidensis Ashby &. Cotton, 1939 

Ro S, Aust. Mux. 6(3): 234, pi. 21, fig. 39. 

= Chiton iRkyssoplo-K) macdonaldensis (Ashby & 

Cotton. 1939) 

Holotype: P4359, I complete posterior valve, from 

MaeDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 

Grunge Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan). 

collected by Wl Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Note: Type unique. 

Anthochiton octocosfatus Ashby A Cotton. 1939 

Rcc S, Aust Mux 6(3)' 235, pi. 21, fig. 40. 

= Chitim (Rhxssoplax) octocostatus ( Ashbv & Cotton, 


Holotype: P4360, 1 half median valve, from 

MaeDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek. Hamilton, Vic, 

Grunge Bum Formation, curly Pliocene (Kalinmun), 

collected by W Greed, date of collection unknown. 

Note: Type unique. 

Genus Chiton Linnaeus. 1758 

Chiton fossicus Ashby & Tom 1901 

Trans. R, Sot; S. Aust, 25(2); 140, pi. 4, fig. 4. 

- Chiton ( Rhvsxoplax ) fossicus Ashby & Tori. 1901. 

Holotype: T840, I incomplete median valve, from 

Table Cape, Tas.. Table Cape Group, early Miocene 

(Longfordian), collected by R. Tate and J. Dennanl, 

date of collection unknown. 

Note: Type unique. 

Chiton puuvipustulosus Ashby & Torr. 1901 

Tnm. R^ Jtofr S. Aust. 25(2):" 141. pi. 4. fig. 2. 

= Loricflla pautipustulosa (Ashby & Torr, 1901) 


Holotype; T839, I complete median valve, from Table 

Cape, Tas., Table Cape Group, early Miocene 

(Longfordian). collected by R. Tate and .L Dennant, 

date of collection unknown. 

Note: A specimen ol this species in the collection 

(P4366) is labelled 'Pleisiotypc'. This specimen is 

Ashby and Cotton's ( 1 939) 'Hypotypc* and has no type 

status. Type unique. 

£ luton i Anthoi hitan) tncostalis relata Ashby & Cot- 
ton, 1936 

Rec. S. Ausr. Mux. 5(4); 509. fig. L 
= Chiton (Rhyssoplax) tricostalis relatus Ashby & 
Cotton, 1936. 

Holotype: P10157 (ex DI2883). I incomplete median 
valve, from 151m depth. Torrensville Bore. Adelaide 
S.A., Dry Creek Sands, late Pliocene (Vatalan), col- 
lected by W.J. Kimber. date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 


Genus Cryptoplax Blainvillc. 1818 

C) yptopiax ludhrookae Ashby, 1940 
Trans R. Sot S. Aust. 64(2); 266. 
Hololype: P4285; 1 complete anterior valve, fam) 
103 117 m depth, bore at Holden's Motor Body 
Works, Woodville, Adelaide, S. A., Dry Creek Sandv 
late Pliocene ( Y.jtalan », collected by S.A. Department 
of Mines, 1934. 
Note: Type unique. 

Cryptoplax nutnhus Ashby 8c Cotton. 1939 
Rr-i S, Aust Mus 6(3); 219. pi. 19, fig. 18 
Holotype: P4337. 1 incomplete median valve, from 
MaeDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic . 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan t. 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown 
Note; Type unique. 


MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratypes: PI 2829, 1 incomplete anterior valve and 1 
incomplete median valve, with same collection data as 

Note: The anterior valve in lot PI 2829 is Ashby & 
Cotton's (1939) 'Hypotype'. 


Genus Callistochiton Dall, 1882 

Callistochiton greedi Ashby & Cotton, 1 939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 232, pi. 21, fig. 41. 
Holotype: P4369, 1 half median valve, from Forsyths 
(Bank), Grange Burn, Hamilton, Vic, Grange Bum 
Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), collected by 
W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratypes: PI 2823, 2 median valve fragments, with 
same collection data as holotype. 
Note: Ashby and Cotton (1939) list 4 paratype frag- 
ments. The label of PI 2823 states '1 sent USA Dec 
1938', so the 4th fragment is presumed lost before reg- 
istration, as register only lists 2 specimens. 

Callistochiton inexpectits Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 233, pl.21, figs 41, 42. 
Holotype: P4372, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratypes: P4373, 1 complete posterior valve, with 
same collection data as holotype. P12818, 1 incom- 
plete median valve and 1 incomplete posterior valve, 
with same collection data as holotype. 
Note: P4373 is Ashby and Cotton's (1939) 'Hypotype', 
labelled and registered as 'Pleisiotype'. All three lots 
originally labelled and registered as Callistochiton 
affinis. an unpublished name, and later corrected to 
C. inexpectits. 

Callistochiton reticulatus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec, S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 233, pi. 21, figs 44, 45. 
Holotype: P4370, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratypes: P4371, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian - 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. P438I, 1 incomplete posterior valve, 
from Forsyths (Bank), Grange Burn, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 

P12820, 2 half median valves and 1 incomplete poste- 
rior valve, with same collection data as P438 1 . 
Note: Ashby & Cotton (1939) list a 'Hypotype' 
(P4383) from the same locality as the holotype, which 
could not be found in the collection, however, the 
register lists P4383 from Forsyths. P4381 is labelled 
'Pleisiotype' (^Hypotype') but the locality on the label 
(Forsyths) differs from the locality in the register 
(MacDonalds). We believe the 2 specimens were con- 
fused before registration, that the 'Hypotype' specimen 
of Ashby & Cotton (1939) has been lost, and replaced 
by P4381, which is part of the lot of 4 specimens from 
Forsyths mentioned by Ashby & Cotton (1939). the 
remainder of the lot being PI 2820. 

Genus Callochiton Gray, 1847 

Callochiton macdonaldi Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 227, pi. 21. fig. 46. 
Holotype: P4368, I incomplete median valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Callochiton (Ocellochiton) sulci Ashby, 1939 

Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. 151 (3): 187, pi. 3, figs 1-3. 

= Ocellochiton sulci (Ashby, 1939). 

Holotype: P10158; 1 incomplete median valve, from 

Balcombe Bay, Mornington, Vic, Balcombe Clay, 

early to middle Miocene (Batesfordian- 

Bairnsdalian), collected by F.A, Cudmore, date of 

collection unknown. 

Paratypes: P26776, 1 incomplete anterior valve and 1 

incomplete posterior valve with same collection data 

as holotype. 

Genus Ischnochiton Gray. 1847 

Ischnochiton (Radsiella) cliftonensis Ashby & Cot- 
ton, 1939 

Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 231, pi. 19, fig. 14. 
= Lavenachiton cliftonensis (Ashby & Cotton, 1939) 

Holotype: P4333, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Ischnochiton cossyrus Ashby & Cotton, 1 939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 229, pi. 20, fig. 37. 
Holotype: P4356, I incomplete posterior valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 


hchnothium dm tits Ashhy & Cotton, 1939 
Ret S. Auv Mu.\\ 6(3): 230, pi. 20, fig. 33. 
= /.v< hnoihttt'ti vossyrus Ashhy & Cotton, 1939. 
Holoiype; P4352. 1 incomplete posterior valve, from 
MaeDonalds (Bank). Muddy Creek, Hamilton. Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique, 

Ischntuhiton ncglectus Ashhy & Cotton. 103*) 
Ret. S. Attst. Mas. 6(3): 231, pi. 20. fig. 34. 
Holoiype. P4353. I half median valve, from Forsylhs 
(Bank). Grange Burn, Hamilton. Vic, Grange Burn 
Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), collected hy 
W, Greed, dale of collection unknown. 
Paraiypcs; PI 28 1 9, 2 fragments of median valves with 
same collection data as holotypc. 

hvhnttchiton numantius Ashhy & Cotton. 1939 
Re4 5 lAust Kits, 6(3): 229, pi. !#;% 16. 
Holoiype: P4335. I incomplete posterior valve, from 
Forsylhs (Bank), Grange Bum, Hamilton. Vic. 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
Collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown, 
Note: Type unique. 

hvhnoihiton tixurus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
AVr S_Ahm, Mas 6(3> I9.lig. If\pj. 20 Jig. 

= is* hnotiiifim vitiozus Asbby &. Cotton. 1939. 
Holoiype. P4334, I half median valve, from 
MacDonaUj\ (Bank). Muddy Creek. Hamilton. Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected hy W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratypes. PI283X, I frugmenrofamediun valve, with 
same collection data as holotypc. P26767. I half me- 
dian valve, from Forsyths (Bank). Grange Bum. 
Hamilton. Vic , Grange Burn Formation, early Plio- 
cene ( Kalnnnanj, collected by W. Greedy dale of col- 
hviioit unknown. 

Note: One paratypc of this species. Ashhy <fc Cotton's 
(19J9) 'Hypotype' P4354 fa now the holotypc of 
tsthniH-hium vumiut* Coiion & Godfrey. 1940. 

f,\ihmnhth"i "iifi'tuie Cotton &, Godfrey, I ¥40 
The Molluscs of Soutti Australia Part IF p. 570, fig 

Holutype P4354 I incomplete posterior valve, from 

vths iBank). Gtangc Burn, Hamilton. Vic. 

Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocctu. (Kjlminarv), 

Lti la dwJ hy w Greed, Am of collection unknown. 

MmcThi .ti'iall> up.iia!>p.-ot/vr/i 

fWthitun fisunu Ashby ■$ "Collon. 1939 (Ashby A 

i. nii-ni s i M.o«)'Mypoivpc'l Type unique 

hrhuti, Unun \-itutm.\ Avbby & Cotron, 1939 
Ut'vS Ativ Mhts Stf) '?28,rl.20. tic M 
Holotypc: 1*055, i halt median valve, ftCfti 

Macdonalds (Bank). Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan). 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown 
Paratypes: P 1 2828, 2 fragments of median valves with 
same collection data as holotypc. 

Genus Ocellochiton Ashby, 1939 

Loriva ovulea Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
= 0<e!!tH hiton sulu (Ashby, 1939). 

Lortttt varena Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
- Ofettodhim silk t \ Ashby. 1939). 


Genus Btlchiton Ashby & Cortun. ISJ0 

Betchuon inilchenimus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Ret S fast Mus, 6(3): 221, pi. |9. Qg, 10 
= Leplnchttonputihemtmis (Ashby & Cotton. 1939). 
Holotypc: P4329. I incomplete median valve, trotn 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek. llomtlton, Vic. 
Grange Burn Formation, earl} Pliocene iKalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of eotlection unknown. 
Paratypc: PI 2799. I incomplete median valve, with 
same collection data as holoiype 

Genus Lepidupleums Risso, IH2o 

Lepidopivurus hahklw; Ashby & Cotton, 939 
flfC £ Affl Vf;/v A(3)- 226. pi. }9, fig. o 
-Uptoi hinm btihuht.s (Ashhy & Cot ton. 1939), 
Holoiype: P432S, I half median valve Irom 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic. 
Grange Bum Formation, earlv Pliocene (Kalunnan). 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown 
Paratype: PI 282 L 2 median valve fragments, wjtfl 
same collection data as holotypc 

Lcpiiiopltitrtn haJif'idtw Ashby & Cotton. 1939 

r?cr..S /la.*./ Mfe, *|3):222.r'l 19 fig,4«pl 21 fie. 


= LcpUH-htmn hmlh.un'cs (Ashby & Conon. 19M) 

(type V1.HA l uicoiujileicpectlcnot Valve irni'i 
Clilion Bank, Muddy Creek. Hamd».,r ( Vu . M 
C>cek Mart, early fo middle Mi;« . (BfltoofoWall - 
Baimsdjlian). collected by W. Goxd, date tit' colkc 

Pur:<:ype\ : P435K. , ?fra.emrnisofan>edi*ivaJvi\ Bcm 
Forsytl^ i 'Bunki. Gr.uige Bunt, Harralton, \ ic . 
Virunye Buiti Foitiuiioh early 11i<xrciiir rKalonnnn), 
collL-Lted by W GtocnI, iV - Hon IttlknO^Qi 

P12804, 2 fra.emcnts of a postci ftl ( fc, ■ 
.oil-elk*! iSate a* P-435K. P122NKH I invomplrtir 


median valve, with same collection data as P4358. 
Lepidopleurus rlijdenensix Ashby, 1929 
Trans N. I Inst. 60: 367, pi. 32, figs 8a. 8b. 
= Leptwhiton vtifdenensis (Ashby, 1929), 
Hololype:PIOI62. I fragment ofa median valve, from 
Clifden. South Island, N.Z., Cljfden Limestone, early 
Miocene (Hutchinsonian), collector and date of coll- 
ection unknown. 

Note. Type unique. Ashby M929b) lists two frag- 
ments ol the holotype, the second fragment is missing, 
presumed lost. 

Lepidopleurus diversi^ranosuH Ashby & Coiton, 


Rtti S Aust- MUS, 6(3); 227, pi. 19, figs 1, 9. 

= Leptochiton diverstpanosus (Ashbv & Cotton. 


Holotype. P4328. 1 incomplete posterior valve, from 

Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic. Muddy 

Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian 

Baimsdalian). collected by W. Greed, dale of 

collection unknown. 

Paratype: P4320. I incomplete median valve, with 

same collection data as holotype. Note; The paratvpe 

P4320 is Ashby & Cotton's ( 1939) 'Hy polype*. 

/ .epidopleurus im\>fioRtwnfO' Ashby. 1925 
Ptoc.R, Soc, Via (IMS) 37(2); 171, pi. 1 8 Jig I. 
= I.rptoi hit/in magnogmnifer (Ashby, 1925). 
Holotype. 1847. 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic., exacl stratum not re- 
corded, collected by J. Dcnnanl and R. Tale, dale ol 
collection unknown. 

Note: A label with the holotype lists die locality as 
Cliftofl Bank.. (Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Bakombian- 
Bairnsdalian), which is the type locality defined by 
Ashby and Cotton (1939) with their 'Pleisiotype' 
(P4322), which is not a valid type.Type unique. 

Lepidopleurus nivarus Ashby & Cotton. W$J 

Rec. S. Aust. Afot*. 6(3): 19, fig. 5. 

= Leponhuon nivarus (Ashby & Cotton, 1939). 

Holotype. P4324. 1 incomplete median valve, from 

Clifton Bank. Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic. Muddy 

Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian - 

Baimsdalian). collected by W. Greed, date of 

collection unknown. 

Paratypcs: P26744. 2 tragments of median valves, 

with same collection data as holotype. 

Lepidopleurus pumphdius Ashby & Cotton. 1939 

Ret . S. Aust, Mus, 6(3): 222, pi. 19, fig. 2. 

= Protochiton qmnnloxus (Ashbv & Ton, 1901) 


Holotype P432 1 , 2 fragments of a median valve, from 

Cliflon Bank, Muddy Creek. Hamilton. Vic, Muddv 

Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian - 
Baimsdalian). collected by W. Greed, date of collec- 
tion unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Lepidopleurus relaius Ashby & Cotton. 1939 
Rec S. Aust. Mils. 6(3). 224, pi. 19, fig. 12. 
= Leptochiton magno\*ranifer (Ashby, 1925.1. 
Holotype: P433 1 , 2 fragments Of a median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek. Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Baimsdalian), collected by W. Greed, dale ol 
collection unknown. 

Paratypes: PI 2807, I median valve fragment, with 
same collection data as holotype. PI 2808, I median 
valve fragment, with same collection data as holotype. 
Note: After examining both types, wc agree wilh 
Cotton & Weeding (1941) and van Belle U98h in 
synonymising this species with L ma^m^ranijer 
(Ashby, 1925). However, the types of the latter arc 
much more worn than the types of/., relaius, not the 
reverse, as was stated by Cotton & Weeding < 1941 ). 
The holotype was broken into two pieces subsequent 
to its description. 

Ltpuhpleurus sepfuis Ashby &. Cotton. 1939 
Rec S A/ml Mas 6(3): 19, fig. 1 1. 
= Leptochiton sephus (Ashby & Cotton. 1939). 
Holotype: P4330, I incomplete median valve from 
Foray tfis (Bank), Grange Burn, Hamilton. Vic. 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kaliinnan). 
collected by W. Greed, dale of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Lepidopleurux xinervnx Ashby & Cotlon. 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 225, pL 19, fig. 7. 
= Leptochiton sinervu* : (Ashby & Cotton, 1939). 
Holotype; P4326, 1 fragment of an anterior valve 
from Forsyths (Bank). Grange Bum, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnani 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratype: P26743, 2 fragments of an anterior valve 
with same collection data as holotype. 

Lepidopieurux singux Ashby & Cotlon. 1939 
Rec. S, Ausr. Mus. 6(3): 226, pi. 19. fig. 8. 
= Leptochhon singus (Ashby & Cotton, 1939) 
Holotype: P4327, I complete posterior valve, from 
Mac Donalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton. Vie.. 
Grange Bum Formation, early Pliocene tKaluntiau). 
collected by W.Greed. date of collection unknowi.. 
Note: Type unique. 

7 Lepidttpleurux uxellm Ashby & Cotlon, 1 939 
kt-r.SAhKt \-fus.6\M, 223. pi. 19, fig. 13 
- LepfnJnftm tatllus (Ashby & Cotton, I939t. 
H'.Mniype; P43*2, I incomplete posterior valve, from 


Forsyths (Bank), Grange Burn, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan). 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Genus Molachiton Ashby & Cotton, 1939 

Molachiton naxus Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 220, pi. 20, fig. 32. 
= Notopiax (Bassethullia) inexpecta (Ashby & Cot- 
Holotype: P4351, 1 half median valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Generic placement follows Gowlett-Holmes 
(1987). Type unique. 


Genus Plaxiphora Gray, 1847 

Pkixiphora concentrica Ashby & Torr, 1901 

Trans. R Soc. S. Aust. 25(2): 138, pi. 4, fig. 8. 

= Plaxiphora (P.) albida (Blainville, 1825) (Recent 


Holotype: T836, 1 complete posterior valve, from 

Gellibrand River, Vic, early Miocene, collector and 

date of collection unknown. 

Note: We believe that this valve is from a recent 

specimen, and that the age and stratum are incorrect. 

We therefore regard it as a synonym of P. (P.) albida, 

an extant species. Type unique. 

Plaxiphora gellibrandi Ashby & Torr, 1901 

Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 25(2): 139, pi. 4, fig. 1 . 

= Plaxiphora (P.) albida (Blainville, 1825) (Recent 


Holotype: T837, 1 complete posterior valve, from 

Gellibrand, Vic, early Miocene, collector and date of 

collection unknown. 

Note: The age and stratum are apparently in error as the 

valve is from a recent specimen. Type unique. 


Genus Protochiton Ashby, 1925 

Acanthochites (Notopiax) granulosus Ashby & Torr, 


= Protochiton granulosus (Ashby & Torr, 1901). 


Lepidopleurus pamphilius Ashby & Cotton, 1 939 
= Protochiton granulosus (Ashby & Torr, 1901). 


Genus Aulacochiton Shuttleworth, 1853 
Aulacochiton erma Cotton & Godfrey. 1940 
The Molluscs of South Australia Part IF p. 570, fig. 

= Lorica compressa Ashby & Torr, 1901 . 
Holotype: P4286, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Baimsdalian), collector and date of collection un- 

Note: Van Belle (1981) considers A. erma to be a 
distinct species, but after comparing the holotypes of 
this species and Lorica compressa, we believe they are 
conspecific, and that the holotype of A. erma is a very 
weathered example of L. compressa. Type unique. 

Genus Lorica H. & A. Adams, 1852 

Lorica affinis Ashby & Torr, 1901 

Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 25(2): 137, pi. 4, fig. 7. 

= Lorica compressa Ashby & Torr, 1901. 

Holotype: T843, 1 incomplete median valve, from 

Table Cape, Tas., Table Cape Group, early Miocene 

(Longfordian), collected by R. Tate and J. Dennant. 

date of collection unknown. 

Note: The locality and age were not given by Ashby & 

Torr (1901), but the type is clearly labelled Table 

Cape', which is the locality given for this species by 

Ashby (1925). Type unique. 

Lorica compressa Ashby & Torr, 1901 
Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 25(2): 136, pi. 4, fig. 6. 
Holotype: T842, I incomplete median valve, from 
Table Cape, Tas., Table Cape Group, early Miocene 
(Longfordian), collected by R. Tate and J. Dennant, 
date of collection unknown. 

Note: The locality and age were not given by Ashby & 
Torr (1901), but the type is clearly labelled 'Table 
Cape', which is the locality given for this species by 
Ashby (1925). Type unique. 

Lorica oculea Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 237, pi. 21, fig. 48. 
c Ocellochiton sulci (Ashby, 1939) (ISCHNO- 

Holotype: P4362, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalianh collected by W. Greed, date of coll- 
ection unknown. 

Paratype: PI 2817, 1 incomplete median valve with 
same collection data as holotype. 

Lorica varena Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 238, pi. 21, fig. 49. 



= Ocellochiton sulci (Ashby, 1939) (ISCHNO- 

Holotype: P4361, 1 incomplete median valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic., Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of 
collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Genus Loricella Pilsbry, 1893 

Loricella coneava Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 6(3): 236, pi. 21, fig. 51. 
Holotype: P4367, 1 incomplete posterior valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Note: Type unique. 

Loricella gigatitea Ashby & Torr, 1901 
Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 25(2): 137, pi. 4, fig. 3. 
Holotype: T838, 1 incomplete anterior valve, from 
Schnapper Point, Mornington, Vic, Balcombe Clay, 
early to middle Miocene (Batesfordian- 
Bairnsdalian), collected by R. Tate and J. Dennant, 
date of collection unknown. 

Note: Ashby ( 1 925) states the above locality is in error 
for the Freestone Cove Sandstone ('Lower Beds'), 
Table Cape, Tas., early Miocene (Longfordian). See 
note on Schnapper Point in Stratigraphical Notes. 
Type unique. 

Loricella magnopustulosa Ashby & Cotton, 1939 
Rec. S. Aust'. Mus. 6(3): 235, pi. 21, figs 50, 53. 
Holotype: P4365, 1 incomplete anterior valve, from 
MacDonalds (Bank), Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, 
Grange Burn Formation, early Pliocene (Kalimnan), 
collected by W. Greed, date of collection unknown. 
Paratype: P4364, 1 half median valve, same collection 
data as holotype. 

Note: P4364 is Ashby & Cotton's (1939) 'Hypotype'. 
The two paratypes listed by Ashby & Cotton (1939) 
are missing, presumed lost. 

Chiton paucipustulosa Ashby & Torr, 1901 

= Loricella paucipustulosa (Ashby & Torr, 1901). 


Genus Oochiton Ashby, 1929 

Oochiton halli Ashby, 1929 

Proc. R. Soc. Vic. (NS) 41(2): 222, pi. 24, figs la, b, 
2, 3a-c, 8a, b. 

Neotype: P4393, 1 complete anterior valve, from 
Clifton Bank, Muddy Creek, Hamilton, Vic, Muddy 
Creek Marl, early to middle Miocene (Balcombian 
Bairnsdalian), collected by W. Greed, date of coll- 
ection unknown. 

Note: Neotype selected by Ashby & Cotton (1939) to 
replace type destroyed by fire in Ashby's house on 
March 9, 1934. This specimen was selected to replace 
'holotype of the head valve of this species' according to 
Ashby & Cotton (1939), however the holotype was a 
median valve according to Ashby (1 929a). As none of 
the types listed by Ashby (1929a) could be found, we 
believe that they were all destroyed by fire, and that the 
anterior valve listed above is a valid neotype. 


Genus Lavenachiton Cotton & Godfrey, 1940 

Ischnochiton (Radsiella) cliftonensis Ashby & Cot- 
ton, 1939 

= Lavenachiton cliftonensis (Ashby & Cotton, 1939). 


We wish to thank Mr D.J. Holloway for supplying us with 
information regarding types held in NMV. We would also 
like to thank Mr W. Zeidler and Mr N. Pledge for their advice 
and encouragement during this project, and Ms J. Thurmer 
for advice and assistance in drafting the figures. Dr N.H. 
Ludbrook and Dr J.M. Lindsay are thanked for critical com- 


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cophora (chitons). Proc. R. Soc. V/c.(NS) 37(2): 170- 
205, pis 18-22. 

ASHBY, E. 1929a. Notes on and additions to Australian 
fossil Polyplacophora (chitons). Proc. R. Soc. Vic. (NS) 
41(2): 220-230, pi. 24. 

ASHBY, E. 1929b. New Zealand fossil Polyplacophora 
(chitons). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 60: 366-369, pi. 32. 

ASHBY, E. & COTTON, B.C. 1939. New fossil chitons from 
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6(3): 209-242, pis 19-21. 

ASHBY, E. & TORR, W.G. 1901. Fossil Polyplacophora 
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South Australia. Part II. Scaphopoda, Cephalopoda, Apla- 
cophora and Crepipoda'. S. Aust. Govt Printer, Adelaide. 

COTTON, B.C. & WEEDING, B.J. 1941 .The correlation of 
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Sub-Region. Rec. S. Aust, Mus. 6(3): 435-450. 

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Choriplacina Starobogatov & Sirenko, 1975 with a rede- 
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(Mollusca: Polyplacophora)'. W. Backhuys. Rotterdam. 



byB. Baehr & M. Baehr 


A collection of hersiliid spiders from the South Australian Museum is examined. Tamopsis forresti 
sp. nov. from north-western Queensland and T. ediacare sp. nov. from central south Australia are 
newly described. New records are given for T. eucalypti (Rainbow), T. queenslandica Baehr & 
Baehr, T. raveni Baehr & Baehr, and T, fickerti (L. Koch), mainly from South Australia and central 
Australia, and the range of some species are considered extended. 






BAEHR. B. & BAEHR, M. 1988. On Australian Hersiliidae from the South Australian Museum 
(Araclmida: Araneae). Supplement to the revision of the Australian Hersiliidae. Rec. S. Ausi. Mus. 22 
(1): 13-20. 

A collection of hersiliid spiders from the South Australian Museum is examined. Tamopsis forresti sp. 
nov. from north-western Queensland and 7'. ediacarae sp. nov. from central south Australia are newly 
described. New records are given for T. eucalypti (Rainbow). T. quccnslanclica Baehr & Baehr, T. raveni 
Baehr & Baehr, and T.fickerti (L. Koch), mainly from South Australia and central Australia, and the 
ranges of some species are considerably extended. 

B. Baehr& M. Baehr, Zoologische Staatssam nlung, M'unchhausenstr. 2 1 . 8000 MUnchen 60, Federal 
Republic of Germany. Manuscript received 4 May 1987. 

The collection oi Hersiliidae from the South Austra- 
lian Museum, Adelaide (SAMA), comprises about 25 
specimens from Queensland, South Australia and 
Western Australia. Because two new species and sev- 
eral new records, mainly from central Australia, are 
involved, it is worth noting in a separate paper, re- 
garded as a supplement to our recent revision of the 
Australian Hersiliidae (Baehr & Baehr 1987). This 
supplement is evidence of the little known fauna of 
more remote regions of Australia, especially in inland 
areas. Measurements were taken as indicated previ- 
ously (Baehr & Baehr 1987). 


ALE - anterior lateral eye 

AME - anterior median eye 

bS - basal segment of posterior lateral spinneret 

LB - total length of body 

LL - total length of 1st leg 

PLE -posterior lateral eye 

PLS - posterior lateral spinneret 

PME - posterior median eye 

tS - terminal segment of posterior lateral spinneret 

I - I st leg 

II - 2nd leg 
III -3rd leg 
IV -4th leg 


In our revision of the Australian Hersiliidae all 
known species were transferred from Chalinura or 
Tama, respectively, to a new genus Tamopsis. All 
newly described species, with exception of the 
singular Hersilia austraHensis Baehr & Baehr, also 
belong to Tamopsis. As the collection from the SAMA 
comprises only species of Tamopsis, apart from a 
single juvenile Hersilia specimen (N 1 1 979 1 00) which 

we are unable to determine, no generic diagnosis needs 
to be included. 

Tamopsis eucalypti (Rainbow) 
Tama eucalypti Rainbow, 1900: 487 

This species is widely distributed in south-eastern 
Australia from south-east Queensland through eastern 
New South Wales, Victoria to Eyre Peninsula in South 
Australia. Specimens from SAMA are identified by 
the conspicuous shape of the female vulva. 

New records 

South Australia: 2 females (N 1987181). Belair NP, 
Mt Lofty Ranges, i. 1936, Coll. H. Womersley; 1 
female (N 1987 182), Fullarton, Adelaide, x. 1935. 
Coll. H. Womersley; 5 females (N 1987183), Ade- 
laide, 1936, Coll. H. Womersley. 

Tamopsis cf, queenslandica Baehr & Baehr 
(Fig. 4) 

Baehr & Baehr, 1987:372 

This species was newly described from a male and 
female from southern Queensland and from New 
South Wales, respectively. It belongs to a group of 
several closely related species characterized by the 
depressed eye area and rather similar male palpi and 
female vulvae (see Baehr & Baehr 1987). 

The single specimen from the SAMA is doubtfully 
assigned to T. queenslandica by virtue of the shape of 
its female vulva. This assignment, however, is some- 
what hypothetical, because the specimen was appar- 
ently dried out and, as a consequence, is rather dam- 
aged. Hence the vulva is difficult to examine. If our 
determination is right, this would mean a considerable 
expansion of the range of this species right through 



u-niral Australia to Ift? Northern Territory- Western 
Australian border. It is worth noting in this connexion 
thaiboih original records of 7' cjurenslandna arc from 
west of the Grca! Dividing Range. Perhaps this is an 
inland species, 
New ward 

Wesiern Australia: I female (N l9871K4),Gill Pm- 
njit le.Seiiwerin Mural Crescent. 24°54\S. 128 r 46'E. 
\i. I%3, Coll. P. Ailkcn & N.B. Tindale. 

Tamopsis raveni Baehr & Baehr 
(Fig. 4) 

Baehr & Baehr. 1987:373 

Another species ol the qaeenslandiea group and 
extremely closely related to 7 qtteerrslandica. 7 . rav- 
eni was previously known only from a single locality 
in south-east Queensland. The single female specimen 
from the SAM A is assigned tO this species mainly by 
the shape of its vulva. 

Se« icoffd 

South Australia; 1 female (N IW7IK5), Oakirecs, 

Rrown Hill Creek Reserve. Adelaide foothills, i. I %5. 
Coll. C. Luscombe This record extends considerably 
the range ol" / raveni to the southwest. 

Tamopsis forrcsti sp. nov 
(Figs I.Z4) 

/ \pt.\ 

Holotype; male (N 19871X6), N.W. Queensland, 
1.5 km W. by N. of Rtversleich Homestead, collected 
hy healing bushes on dry area above Gregory Rivcr. 
30. iv, 1986, Coll. J, A. Forres! Paratypc: I female 
<N I9X7IS7), same data. 


Medium sized species With high eye area, large 
AME and moderately elongate legs, tceognizcd by 
male palpus with a large, ^puun-sliuped, lutoked !»<« 
ess and a small lateral process on median apophysis 
and with Ihrce elongate lateral processes at apex oi 
lateral apophysis, and by unique shape of female 

Di'saipttnn df holoixpe (male) 

Measure nwnis: Body length. 3.48 nun. Ccphalo- 
thorax length' 1.48 mrn; width; 1.40 mm. Abdomen 
length: 2 mm. width: 1.65 mm, Legs: I: 1 0,04 mm, II: 
92K mm. 111: 3.72 mm. JV 9L<$ mm. Ratio: 
I: 0.^2: 0,37: 0.90. Ratio LB/LL: 0.35. PLS length: 
1.84 mm; bS: 0.48 mm; tS: 1.36 mm. fcyc ratio: 
1:0.33:0 78: 0.67. 

Co/our. Cephalothorax lighl brown, eye area, bor- 
der, several radial spots, and dorsal groove piceous to 
blackish. Clypcus dirty white, with two dark spots. 

Chelieerae uievish to blown Abdomen mottled wilh 
dislinci lancet-shaped median stripe and lateral luu 
dersdark; poslcriorlv with some transverse light and 
dark bands. Venlral surface light. Legs light, tvm 
spicuously annulate, fetnota anteriorly- vontrallv 
striped with black. 

Cephalothorax: Circular slightly murowei than 
abdomen. Eye area considerably raised, clypcus 
.slightly hteher than eye area. AMF. by far largest PLE 
slightly smaller lhan PME. Distance AMB/AML 
slightly less than diameter of AME, distance AME/ 
ALL about equal lodiamclcrof AMF. Distancr PME/ 
PML about half of diameter of PME. distance PMF,/ 
PLK about equal lo diameter of PLF. Chehcerac about 
I / x as long as w Tele, posteriorly with 3 minute leelh. 
Sternum setose. 

Ahdtmten: Elongate oval Dnrsally Willi 5 pairs ol 
rather circular muscular pits. Ventral muscular pits ill 
a v-shaped arrangement. PLS slightly shorlcrthan ab- 

Legs: Measurements see above. Moderately elou- 
eaie, III slightly longer lhan 1/3 of I. 

ftilptts Median apophysis strongly contorted, apex 
wilh wide, membraneous area within, terminally with 
a large, spoon-shaped process, and laterally with a 
shorter, curved process which is conspicuously 
napped outside. Lateral apophysis also contorted, 
apex deeply excised, later at I yot excision bearing three 
elongate, slendei, finger like, hook-shaped sliueluncs, 
Inner finger apirally curved away fttWn palpus. 

DcuntVi'in aj paratvpe (female) 

Mea\uremem\: Body length: 3.60 mm. Cephalo- 
ihoW length: 1.44 mm; width: 1.40 mm Abdomen 
length: 2,16 mm; width; 2.28 mm. Legs; I: 8.(6 mm, 
IU7.3H Kittl, III; UW mm. IV. 7 44 mm. Ratio 
I: 0.5- 0.37: 0.91. Ratio LR/l L: 0.44. PLS length. 
1.92 mm; bS: 0.48 mm: tS: l.3o mm. Fye ratio: 

Colour. Very similar to male holotype, Abdomen 
slill more mottled, legs more contrastingly coloured. 

tiphahnhorav Similar to male, but much narrowet 
than abdomen Clypeus slightly higher. Lyes smallei 
especially AMF smaller in relation to ALF., ALE 
nearly half as large as AME. PML and PLE of about 
equal si/e. 

Abdomen : Slightly widct than long, rather triangu- 
lar Arrangement of dorsal and venlral muscular pits as 
in male. PLS slightly longer in relation to abdomen 
lhan ni male 

Le#s: Measurements see above. Moderately elon- 
gate. II aboulas long as in male. 

fptgyne I ,atet ally wilh a large opening covered by 
a plate. Parts of vulva law, widely separated. 

Vulva: With two rceeptacula seminis. though inner 
receptaculum characteristically hem and prolonged 
veiilially. apex slightly recurved. Only outer recep- 



laculum glandular beneath capsule. Introducioi y duel 
beftli v-v.hupcd t posteriorly produced. 


Thus i'iir known from north- western Queensland 
close lo Northern Terrilory border. 

Not exactly known. Caught by k-utmg hushes near 
river. Collected in April. 


VhK species i^ccrla'mly closely related to / , liumw 
Bacht & Baeht from southern Queensland The male 
palpi of both species are lair ly similar and they are rec- 
ognized by Iheit long, linger like processes at the apev 
of i he lateral apophysis. The palpus of /. f<orcsti, 
however, dilfcrs in lhal the inner process otlhe lateral 
apophysis is curved outMde rather ihan inwards, and 
thai ihc median apophysis possesses a Strong lateral 
process. As the female of/ (th>nw is as yet unknown. 
nothing can be said on dilrerenccs of female epigyne 
and vulva. The epigyne of T. fturcsri. however, is out- 
standing within ihe tntpim croup lo (he form of the in- 
ner receplaeulum semini.v. 

hlr nli fn dtntn 

Tor identification the key to species in our revision 
(Baehr & Baehr I9S7) should he altered as following: 

Couplet in. - umcel Southern central Queensland 
— it tritwxxsp. nov.* 

then add 

' 16a. Lateral border nt MA not modified toaspoon 
like process, inner finger of LA curved inwards. 
Southern central Queensland, ... Iriitnw Baehr & 

- Lateral border of MA modified to a spoon like 
process* napped outride, mricr finder of LA curved 

oulw aids. North-western Queensland .,.,..., 

fnnesti sp. nov/ 

Coupler 33 - aJter la 

Smaller species with wider hotly, less than 4.5 
mm long. Legft and PLS rather stout. Lateral RS 
directed horizontally or posteriorly. Bridge of V noi a 
narrow clasp 37 a/ 

then add 

"37 a. Lateral KS very small, directed horizontally 
II) not srrougly v shaped. North-western Queensland 

..{eiclhtnttiutta Baeht & Baehr 

Lateral RS large. elongaLe. directed posteriorly, 
apex conspicuously incurved. ID strongly v-shaped, 
North-western Queensland forresti sp. nov.' 

Tamopsis ediacanxe sp. nov 

a : igs3.4l 

Female (N I W7IXX), South Australia, EdiaeaaWW. 
of Leigh Creek). J 5. v. I%t. 

Pitiyio.sis (male unknown) 

Mediutn-si/.ed species with high eye area, large 
A ME. and rathcrelongatc Icgs.characteivcd by vulva 
wiih two equal receplaeula senium on each side, 
slrongly coiled basal parts oi' introductory duels, and 
anteriorly a wide bar. 

Dcs< tipnon 

ML'itswvtncnfS- Body length: 4.S4 mm. Cephalo- 
thoras length: i-SS mm; width: 1.88 mm. Abdomen 
length: 2. 76 mm: width: 2.62 mm. Legs: I: 14.08 mm, 
II: 1 3.40 mm. Ill: 4.60 nun. IV: 12.48 mm. Ratio: 
I: 0.95: 0.33: fJJ0. Ratio LB/LL: 3.3. PLS length: 
2-48 mm: bS 0.68 m: tS: 1.80 mm. Bye ratio: 

Cnlftitr Light-coloured. Cephalothora\ medially 
whitish, laterally dark yellow. Lye area, lateral bor- 
ders, and some radial spots blackish. Clypeus and 
cheliccrae wholly yellow. Abdomen ralher light 
slightly mottled, wilh lancei-shaped median stripe and 
lateral borders lading brown. Legs and palpi very light, 
inconspicuously annulate. PLS laterally near base and 
apically in last Ihird with distinct dark spot*. 

( tplialnihinw Circular. as long as wide. Eye area 
strongly raised, clypeus slightly higher ihan eye area. 
Eyes rather small, AMI: largest, PME slightly smaller 
Ihan PLE. Distance AME/AMF. slightly less ihan di 
iimeleriifAMH. Distance PML/PML more ihan half of 
diameter o\ PME. distance PME/PLE about equal to 
diameter of PLIZ. Cheliccrae rather elongate, about 
IVjt as long as wide. Sternum heart-shaped, setose 

\hih>mtn Ralher wide, almost as wide as long, 
slightly trapezoidal, much wider than cephaloihorax. 
Dorsally wilh5pairsolcircularmuscularpits. Ventral 
muscular pits in a slightly v-shaped arrangement. PLS 
rather short, considerably shorter than abdomen. 

Lffg v Measurement see above. Elongate, III c 1/3 
as long as I. 

Epigyne: Laterally with an opening covered by a 
plate. Parts of vulva widely separated, anteriorly with 
a wide, selcrotizcd bridge. 

Vulval Wide, with Iwo receplaeula seminis and a 
basal hulbus on each side. Receplaeula glandular in 
basal half. Introductory duct nasally strongly coiled 
and produced outwaixls. 


Lake Eyre Basin, central eastern South Australia. 


Unknown, type collected in May. 


T cdauarat' belongs lo the large tntpuu group. 
Judging from the shape of the female epigyne and 
vulva and from relative length of legs and PLS, T, 
i'duuaruv is certainly most closely related lo T. 
pst'ttdociirttntYuh'ns Baehr & Baehrfrom south- west- 



em Australia which has a fairly similar vulva. How- 
ever, the following differences are to be noted: lack of 
conspicuous median black stripe on clypeus in T. 
ediacarae, slightly different ratio of eye size, greater 
relative length of PLS, transverse bar of vulva located 
far anteriorly instead of medially, and introductory 
duct strongly coiled at base. 

Since both species are known only from the female 
holotypes, it is at present impossible to decide whether 
they are actually species or just strongly varying speci- 
mens of common species with very wide range. From 
our experience, however, distribution of the same 
hersiliid species across the Nullarbor Plain is rather 


For identification the key to species in the revision 
(Baehr&Baehr 1987) should be altered as following: 

Couple 36 - cancel 

'South- western Australia 

pseudocircnmvidens Baehr & Baehr* 

then add 

'36 a. Bridge located rather posteriorly between RS. 
ID basally not coiled (Fig 34). South-western Austra- 
lia ..... pseudocircumvidens Baehr & Baehr 

-Bridge located rather anteriorly at apex of RS. ID 
basally strongly coiled. Eastern central South Austra- 
lia .....ediacarae sp. nov.* 

Tamopsis fickerti (L. Koch) 

(Fig. 5) 

Chalinura fickerti L. Koch, 1876: 830 

This is a widely distributed species in eastern Aus- 
tralia, though not yet reliably recorded either from 
Victoria or South Australia. Females of this species are 
at first glance recognized by their heart-shaped median 
plate in the epigyne. 

virons of Adelaide and is perhaps distributed over the 
whole of south-eastern Australia from south-eastern 
Queensland to at least Adelaide in South Australia. 


As demonstrated by the present work, the Austra- 
lian Hersiliidae fauna is not yet adequately known. 
Certainly still more species are likely to be discovered 
and the range of most species is far from being exactly 
known, because several species are only known from 
single specimens or from a single locality. This is 
certainly due to the inadequate exploration of vast 
areas, especially in central, western, and north-west- 
ern Australia, and also to the difficulties of collecting 
such extremely well-camouflaged spiders as Hersil- 
iidae which commonly sit motionless in small hollows 
on the bark of trees or attached on branches. 

The following comments stress or slightly alter 
[hose in our revision ( Baehr & Baehr 1987): 

1. Northern Queensland is one of the regions pos- 
sessing the most diverse hersiliid fauna. Most species, 
however, are rather unspecialized. Although the 
newly described T.forrestt' of north Queensland be- 
longs to a derivative species group, within this group 
it is also rather unspccialized. 

2. Some species are far more widely distributed than 
hitherto realized. This applies mainly to species occur- 
ring in well-wooded eastern, south-eastern, and south- 
ern Australia, where tree-dwelling species are able to 
spread more easily over wide ranges. 

3. No species were previously known from central 
Australia and very few from South Australia, but both 
faunas are more diverse than supposed. 


We are indebted toDr David C. Lee( Adelaide) for the loan 
of the specimens from the SAMA. 

New records 

South Australia: 1 female (N 1987189), Renmark, 
27. iv. 1981, Coil. R.V.Southcott; 1 male(N 1987190), 
Mitcham. Adelaide, 14. xi. 1986, Coll. R. V. South- 
cott; 1 maIe(N 1 987 19 l),Bellevue Heights. Adelaide, 
5. xii.1979, Coll. A. Bowie; 5 females, I juv. (N 
1987192). BelairN.P.,Mt Lofty Ranges, i. 1936. Coll. 
H. Womersley; 2 females (N 1987193), Beiair N.P., 
16.ii.1936, Coll. H. Womersley. 


BAEHR. B. & BAEHR, M. 1 987. The Australian Hersiliidae 

(Arachnida, Araneae): taxonomy, phytogeny. 

zoogeography, Jnvertebr. Taxon. I: 351^137. 
KOCH, L. 1876. 'Die Arachniden Australiens'. Nuniberu 

RAINBOW, W.J. 1900. Descriptions of some new Am 

neidae of New South Wales. No. 9. Proc. Linn. Soc. 

N.S.W. 25:438-494. 


For habits of this species see Baehr & Baehr ( 1 987). 
Several label notes of the SAMA specimens give 
evidence of a rather common occurrence of T. fickerti 
on walls and houses. In the wild, however, this is a true 
tree-inhabiting species, living on the bark of diverse 

7*. fickerti seems to be rather common in the en- 



FIGURE I. Tamopsis forresti sp. nov., male holotype. a. Body shape; b. Lateral view of head; c. 
Frontal view of head; d. Ventral view of palpus; e. Lateral view of palpus. Scales: a. b, c: 1 mm d e 
.25 mm. 




FIGURE 2. Tamopsis fnrresti sp. nov., female paratype. a. Body shape; <i. Lateral view of head; c. 
Frontal view of head. d. Epigyne; e. Vulva, Scales: a, b, c: 1 mm, d, e: 0.25 mm. 



FIGURE 3. Tamopsis ediacarae sp. nov., female holotype. a. Body shape; b. Lateral view of head; 
c. Frontal view of head; d. Epigyne; e. Vulva. Scales as in Figure 2. 



FIGURE 4. Distribution of Tamopsis queenslandica Baehr & Baehr: ■ T, raveni Baehr & Baehr; ▲ . 
T.forresti sp. nov.: •, and T. ediacarae sp. nov.: ♦. 

FIGURE 5. Distribution of Tamopsis fickerti (L. Koch), revised map. 


byC.H.S. Waits 


The Australian halipilids are revised. All belong to the genus Haliplus. Eight species are recognised, 
four of which are new : H. alastairi sp. nov, H. nicholasi sp. nov, H. stepheni sp. nov. and H. sindus 
sp. nov. The synonymy of H. australis Clark with H. testudo Clark 1985 is confirmed. A key to 
species is provided and relationships between species briefly discussed. 




WATrs. C. H. S WATTS 1988. Revision of Australian Halipilidae (Coleoptera). Hec, S Aust. Mus. 
22(1): 21 28. 

The Australian halipilids are revised. All belong to the genus Haliplus. Eight species are recognised, 
(our of which are new: H, atastuiri sp. nov, H. nicholasi sp. nov, //, siepheni sp. nov. and H sindus 
sp. nov. 1'he synonymy of//, australts Clark with // testudo Clark 1985 is confirmed. A key to species 
js provided and relationships between species briefly discussed 

C.H.S. Walts, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Manuscript 
received 17 June 19K7. 

The Auslralian Halipilid fauna is small with only 
eight known species. All belong lo the worldwide 
gdUlS Haliplus. Halipilids can be recognised from all 
othei Auslralian aquatic Coleoptera by the large post- 
coxa] plates which cover Ihe bases of the hind legs. 
They are found among aquatic vegetation in still water 
around the coast from Adelaide eastward to Darwin. In 
addition, two species occur in the south-west of 
Western Australia and one in Tasmania. No specimens 
arc known from the north-west. Both adult and larval 
stages are aquatic. No larvae of Australian species 
have been described. They are rare in collections and 
although I think this is lo some degree a reflection of 
collecting pressure it is clear that they are not abundant. 
Structurally, Auslralian Haliplus fall into two clear 
groups. One, consisting of H , fuscatus , ft. gibbusmd 
H bistriatus, is characterised by relatively small size, 
grooved pronotal process, well marked pronotal plicae 
with a depressed area between them, interstrial 
punctures absent or subobsolete. and a relatively 
narrow head The other group, H. testudo, H alastain. 
//. stephetti. H. nicholasi and //. smdus, have a flat 
pronotal process, no pronolal plicae, no depressed area 
at back of pronotum and have a moderate number of 
punctures in most interstriae. The only major 
laxonomic work on Auslralian halipilids is that of 
Clark ( 1X62 > who described four species from south- 
eastern Australia. Regunbart described two New 
Guinean species in 1899 and Wehncke described H, 
bistnatus from Adelaide in 1 880. The collections from 
which specimens were examined are listed under ihe 
following abbreviations: 
AM Australian Museum, Sydney 

AN1C Australian National Insect Collection 
BMNH British Museum (Natural History). London 
CW Private Collection of Author 

MCZ Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 
EUQ Entomology Department, University of 

NMV National Musucm of Victoria 
NTM Northern Territory Museum 
SAMA South Australian Museum 
QM Queensland Museum 

QP1 Queensland Department of Primary 

Industrv, Mareeba 


Ktv to \vstkm\ahHauplvs 

1 . Pronotum with short to moderate plicae (Fig. 6). area 

between plicae depressed; pronotal process 
grooved; interstrial punctures lacking or 

subobsolete , ft 

Pronotum lacking plicae, hind portion not 
depressed; pronotal process Hat; interstrial 
punctures sparse but well marked 2 

2. (I.K2.5 mm long; upper surface uniformly yellow 

brown.., sindus sp. nov. 

>2.5 mm long; elytron usually with dark spots or 
markings j 

1 (2)Punctures and striae over most of elytron except 
laterally black, first intcrstria yeJlow-bmwn for 
most of its length (Figs 4 & 5). Elytral plicae weak, 
often reduced to 2-3 deeply imptessea 

punctures testudo Clark 

First inlerstria of elytron black for most of its 
length; rest of elytra patterned as in Figs 1-3. Elytral 
plicae absent or short but well marked 4 

4. (3) Elytral plicae short but well marked, elytron 

pattern as in Fig 3 5 

Elytral plicae absent; elytron pattern as in Fig. 3 
• nicholasi sp. nov. 



• • 


-■ CDCB 

rc ■ '■-' 


1" *? 

■ i -«v. a, 

n <* 

... W 

-V ■ ' ■ 

• t'- 

v v ■ ' ■ 



'. «*i , 



-'» ■* 

' .i" 

: ^v 

,\ s 


» , 



' V 


FIGURES 1-6. 1, Colour pattern on elytron of//, alastairi; 2, ditto //. stepheni; 3, ditto //. nicholasi; 4 & 5, ditto, //. testado 
extreme examples; 6, dorsal view of//, histhatus showing eiytral and pronotal plica. 




FIGURES 7-13. 7, Lateral view of aedeagus of//, alastairv, 
8, dorsal view of aedeagus of H. gibbus; 9, dorsal view of 
aedeagus and paramere of//, gibbus; 10, ditto H. alastairi; 1 1 , 
lateral view of aedeagus and paramere of H. fuscatus; 12, 
lateral view of aedeagus and paramere of H. fuscatus. 

5. (4)1-5 punctures in first interstria of elytron, 0-1 in 
third. Elytron without dark markings along anterior 

margin (Fig. 2) stepheni sp. nov. 

10-20 punctures in first interstria of elytron, 3-7 in 
third. Elytron without dark markings along anterior 
margin (Fig. 1) alastairi sp. nov. 

6.(1) Eiytral plicae moderately-well marked; pronotal 

plicae curved (Fig. 6) bistriatus Wehncke 

Eiytral plicae absent or virtually so; pronotal 
plicae straight 7 

7. (6) Aedeagus broad (Figs 8 & 9) gibbus Clark 

Aedeagus narrow (Figs 1 1 & 12) .. .fuscatus Clark. 

Haliplus sindus sp. nov. 

Description (number examined 2) 

Length 1 .7 - 2.4 mm. Yellow-brown. Oval, broadest 
at shoulders, narrowing rather abruptly at apex. Elytron 



weakly and broadly triangularly flanged about one 
quartet way from apex, lip sharply pointed, weakly 
serrated at shoulder. Head with scattered punctures 
about size of eye facets. Pronotum wider behind than in 
front, sides weakly convex when viewed from above, 
with .scattered large punctures, hind margin produced 
backwards in a small nearly equilateral triangle in 
midline. Elytron smooth, shiny, with well marked strial 
punciures, stronger laterally, suturai stria small hut 
distinct, a very tew scattered interatrial punctures 
except in interstriae three-four and five-six which Lick 
punctures. Etytral plicae short, crescent shaped, well 
impressed. Pronotal process flat, wider slightly behind, 
wilh large scattered punctures. Front portion of 
mesosiernum weakly concave, broader than pronotai 
process with sides sharply undercut with scattered well 
marked punctures, sides of mesosternum with a few- 
very large punctures, much smaller in midline. Coxal 
lohes more densely covered wilh punctures, iargc 
towards sides to very small in midline. 


Huloiypc, sex unknown. Qld 'Bentinck Is. 
•'Ninyilki" 6th June, 1963. P. Ailkcn, N.B. Tmdale\ tn 
SAMA. Paralype F,l, 'Kornehill Qld 7.4.63 C.WV in 

Distribution (Fig. 14) 

Known only from the type localities. 


Tlie small size and lack of pronotal plicae readily 
separate this rare species from other Australian 
Haliplus. 11 does not appear to be closely related to any 
other Australian species. 

Haliplus nkhoiasi sp. nov. 
(Fig. 3) 

Description (number examined 4) ) 

Length 3.3 - 4.1 mm. Oval, broadest at shoulders. 
Elytron only weakly tapering until final one third; 
apical one quarter weakly flanged and serrated: 
humeral angles weakly serrate. Head relatively broad 
between eyes; red-bro\vn with scattered punctures 
about the size of eye facet; punctures at rear larger. 
Pronotum wider behind than in front, sides evenly 
diverging or slightly concave; strongly punctured 
particularly around margins* with an almost 
impunctate transverse band acrosspronotum behind 
middle; hind margin broadly triangularly produced in 
midline; reddish-brown. Antenna short, reaching to 
just behind middle of pronotum, five apical segments 
larger than rest, apical segment twice length of 
penultimate. Elytron reddish-brown with extensive 
black markings. Strial punctures on elytron large 
laterally, progressively weaker toward suture. Suturai 
punctures well marked, a little larger and much more 

numerous than those between stria one and two 
!nterstrial punctures small sparse, absent from 
interstriae three to four. Elytral plicae absent, position 
marked by row of tiiree or four punctures. Pronotal 
process fiat, widening slightly toward rear, with 
scattered well marked punctures of varying size. Front 
section of mesosternum fiat, not bordered by raised 
margin but margins sharply undercur; wider than 
pronotal process; punctured as on pronotal proeeAft; 
sides moderately covered wilh large punctures, much 
smaller towards midline Coxal lobes more densely 
covered widi punctures, those towards sides smaller 
than on sides of mesosternum, those towards midline 
about same size. Abdominal segments with one or two 
transverse bauds of small to moderate punciures. apical 
segments with a few large punciures. Underside 
reddish-brown, legs a Mule darker. 
Male: Protarsi a Utile exposed, 


Holotype, F- 'TownsviUc.QId. Feb 1 4 >72T. Ingeldtw'. 
in NMV.Paratypcs. I.M HouidullQld.7,4,MCW\. 
2FF. 'Cairns QUI. 1G.4.M fW in CW. 

Fijt. 14 Known only from the type localities near 
Caims and Townsvillc in North Queensland 


A little known species, resembling the widespread 
// tesunlo It is slightly smaller, has fewer interstrial 
punctures, and differently patterned elytra. The 
aedeagus of the only known male specimen has been 
lost. The pattern on the elytra resembles in some 
respects that in //. signatipenms Rcgimbart from new 
Guinea. H, nicholasi differs from this species (and 
from the other known new Guinea species, H 
ferruginipes Regitnban) in lacking punctures between 
stria three and four, and in lacking the transverse 
depression at the base of the pronotum present in these 

Haliplus testudo Clark 

(Figs 4 & 5) 

Haliplus testmln Clark. 1862, p. 400 

Haliplus auattalis Clark. 1862, p. 41)0. Syn after 

Watts. 1985 and re examination of types. 


H, testudo. Lectotype, F right hand specimen of two 
mounted on card. \o locality, previously withBMNH 
type and syntype labels, here designated. Companion 
specimen designated parakctotype. H. australis. 
Lectotype, F no data except hand written BM label, 
previously with BMNH type and synrypc labels, here- 



Description (number examined 118) 

Length 3.2 - 4.1 mm. Oval, widest at shoulders, 
tapering towards apex of elytra, lateral margin of 
elytron serrate in apical one quarter. Head relatively 
broad between eyes, yellow to yellow-brown, 
moderately covered with punctures about same size or 
slightly larger than facets of eye. Antenna stout, 
reaching over half way back on pronotum, apical five 
segments noticeably larger than rest, apical a little 
longer than penultimate. Pronotum relatively short, 
wider behind than in front, lateral margins evenly 
diverging or slightly bowed out when viewed from 
above; unevenly covered with scattered moderate to 
large punctures which are densest around margins, 
with an almost impunctate band across pronotum 
behind middle; hind margin with small but well marked 
backward extension in midline; yellow to yellow- 
brown, some punctures particularly towards rear 
outlined in black. Elytron yellow to yellow-brown, 
punctures and usually stria also black. Strial punctures 
well marked, a little larger than those on pronotum, 
those in striae one to three smaller than others. Sutural 
punctures small but quite dense and well impressed, 
about size of those in interstria one to two. Interstrial 
punctures numerous, one third to half size of ones in 
striae, absent or very sparse in area between suture and 
first stria, alternate interstriae starting between striae 
three and four have fewer punctures with the more 
lateral ones virtually impunctate. Elytral plicae absent 
or represented by two to three enlarged sometimes 
contiguous punctures in stria five. Pronotal process 
broad, flat, diverging slightly behind, with well marked 
lateral ridges, sparsely punctured. Mesosternum 
sparsely punctured, punctures large, laterally 
subobsolete in midline; well-marked ridges running 
backwards from pronotal process for about half length 
of segment. Coxal lobes large, strongly punctured 
laterally, weakly in midline. Abdominal segments with 
one or two transverse rows of small punctures. Apical 
segments with some moderate to large punctures in 
apical half. Underside yellow-brown with darker 
motlings particularly at bases of legs. 

Male: Basal two joints of protarsi a little expanded. 

Variation: Some specimens reddish all over. 

Distribution: (Fig. 14) 

Coastal regions from Darwin to Melbourne. Also 
from Charleville, Qld. 


By far the commonest and most widespread 
Australian halipilid. A variable species with yellowish 
specimens predominating in the south and darker 
reddish specimens in the north. In some southern 
specimens the characteristic black pigment around 
elytral punctures and striae is greatly reduced (Fig. 4). 
In some there are vague darker patches on the elytron 
suggestive of H, alastairi or H. nicholasi but in all 

specimens that I have seen the dark elytral striae have 
been separated by yellow-brown. In all but a few 
examples the elytral plicae are virtually absent. The 
aedeagus is variable in lateral view, with some 
specimens, notably those from more southern 
localities, being much wider in the middle. Separable 
from the other species lacking pronotal plicae by 
characters mentioned under H. alastairi and H 

Haliplus alastairi sp. nov. 
(Figs 1,7, 10) 

Description (number examined 16) 

Length 3.0-3.6 mm. Oval, tapering quite rapidly 
behind shoulders. Humeral angle of elytron serrate, 
apical one quarter of elytron weakly flanged and 
weakly serrate. Head relatively broad between eyes, 
dark yellow-brown, moderately punctate; punctures 
larger than eye facets. Pronotum wider behind than in 
front; lateral margins evenly diverging when viewed 
from above; strongly punctured particularly around 
margins, with an almost impunctate band across 
pronotum behind middle and a row of three to six 
noticeably larger punctures above hind margin at each 
corner; hind margin with small sharply triangular 
extension in the midline; reddish brown. Antenna 
reaching beyond middle of pronotum, last five 
segments larger than rest, apical about 1 .5x longer than 
penultimate. Elytron reddish brown, with dark-brown 
to black markings. Strial punctures will marked, about 
size of pronotal punctures, those in striae one to three 
smaller than others. Sutural punctures well marked, as 
large as and more numerous than punctures between 
striae one and two. Interstrial punctures rather sparse, 
about one quarter to one third size of those in adjacent 
striae, alternate interstrial starting from between striae 
three and four have fewer punctures with the more 
lateral ones impunctate. Elytral plicae short (three to 
four punctures long) but usually deeply impressed; 
punctures on humeral angle between plica and edge of 
elytron large and crowded. Pronotal process relatively 
narrow, flat, quite strongly punctured. Front portion of 
mesosternum a little wider than pronotal process, flat 
or even slightly convex, sides rounded, undercut but 
not ridged. Mesosternum rather sparsely punctured, 
punctures strong at sides, small but well-impressed in 
midline. Coxal lobes more densely but still only 
moderately covered with punctures, those at sides 
moderate, about size of those in stria on elytron, those 
towards midline small but well impressed. Abdominal 
segments with one or two transverse bands of moderate 
punctures, apical segment with a few larger punctures. 
Underside reddish with darker areas, particularly legs 
which are mainly dark red-brown. 

Male: Two basal segments of protarsi a little 



Vat union. One specimen from Tambourine 
Mountain* Qld thai ! refer to this species has the elytral 
plicae reduced to short series of slightly enlarged 


Holotvpe, M. " 1 2*36*8 132°52'E Magela Creek, 
NT. ! Km NNW of Mudginbany HS. 25.V.73, 
Matdicws & Upton' in AN1C. Paratopes: I ; Cardsione 
Qld 4-16. i 1966 K Hyde'. I, 'Cooktown N.Q. 1/71 
GB\ 2, Catherine, NT. at light. ttiiOfe J.A.L. 
Watson". I, 'King River, 2, l4°3frS.l43 2<V F.Parker all in ANIC. 1/Lake Buchanan 
Qld. 2l a 30S !45 C 5(VE BTitnms 25/9/83 \ in CW; I, 
•Caims CJ,W/ in QM, 

Distribution (Fig. 13) 

The east coast of Cape York and rhc top end of the 
Northern Territory- If the specimen from Tambourine 
Mountain near Brisbane does belong lo this species it 
may indicate a more extensive range down the 
Queensland coast. 


Morphologically close to H- testutfa, H m'cholasi 
and H. Stephen! hut averaging-smaller than the first two 
of these species (3.0 mm compared with 4.0 mm and 
3 3 mm respectively) with a more spindle shaped and 
less parallel sided form. The elytral plicae are well 
marked in all the specimens I have seen whereas they 
arc virtually absent in all but a few specimens of // 
ti'Kimh and H. nnholasi. The larger number of 
inleistnal punctures separate it from //. stepheni. The 
colour pattern on thee I yiron differs from these species. 
The aedeagus is very similar to that of H stepheni. It is 
a little thinner in dorsal view to H. testutio. 

HaUptus Stephens sp. nov. 
(Fig. 2) 

Description (number examined 1 3 V 

Length.: 2.8-3.0 nim. Oval, tapering quite rapidly 

from about hal I way back on elytrae. Humeral angle of 
elytron serrate, apical quarter of elytron weakly 
Hanged and weakly serrate. Head relatively broad 
between eyes, dark yellow-brown, shiny, moderately 
punctate punctures* larger than eye facet. Pronotum 
wider behind than in front; lateral margins evenly 
diverging when viewed from above except for extreme 
front portions; sparsely covered with large punctures, 
impunctate areas on disc, row of larger punctures along 
hind edge at each side, laterally depressed in middle 
near hind edge, hind margin with small triangular 
extention in the midline, coloured as on head. Antenna 
reaching nearly to elytron, last five segments larger 
than rest, apical about same length as penultimate. 
Elytron dark yellowish-brown, with well defined dark 

pattern (Fig. 2). Stual punctures well marked, about 
size of those on pronotum, those on disc smaller than 
others, sutural punctures numerous, well marked, 
about half the si/e of those in adjacent striae. Interstrial 
punctures small and sparee. those in alternate intcrstra 
starting from inierstriae 1-2 very sparse, lateral areas 
impunctate. Elytron plica short. 3-6 punctures lone, 
deeply impressed, punctures between plica and edge of 
elytron only a little longer than others and not 
particularly crowded. Pronotal process relative!) 
narrow, flat, quite strongly punctured. Front portion of 
rnesosternum a little wider than pronotal process, flat 
except for front edge which is sharply depressed, sides 
slightly undercut, sparsely punctured with a row of 
punctures on vertical surface along sides, center 
virtually impunctate. Coxal lobes more densely but 
still only moderately covered with punctures, those at 
sides about size of those in lateral elytral striae, those 
towards midline small but well impressed. Abdominal 
segments with one or two bands of small punctures 
apical segment with a few larger punctures, underside 
reddish with darker areas, particularly legs which arc 
mainly dark red-brown. 

Male: Last five joints of antenna a little smaller. 


Holorype, M. AUSTRALIA, NT. Hurnptv Doo,6 
km E.. 9.U-4. m.lV87. K.I. Storey' in SAMA 
Paratypes same dala, H in QPI, 2 in C W. 


Known onlv fatal the type locality near Darwin, 

A strikingly marked species separated from H 
alustairi and H. nUholasi by the extension of black 
markings along front margin of elytron. Some 
individuals also have a dark patch on the front edge of 
the pronotum in the midline The presence of well 
marked elytral plicae distinguish it from H. nichnlasi 
and the greatly reduced number of intcrstrial punctures 
from H, alastairi- The pronotum is more strongly 
folded than in the other species and there is a hint of a 
basal depression in some specimens. The aedeagus is 
very similar to thai of//, alastairi, It is a little thinner 
in dorsal view lo //. iestudo. 

Haliplm histriatus Wernicke 

(Fig. 6) 

Haliptus histriatus Wehncke. 1880. p. 72. 


None located. (Thev are not in RMNH nor Parts 
Nationai Museum.j 



Description (number examined 39) 

Length 2.5— 3.4 mm. Oval, sides of elytra subparallel 
in central half. Elytron weakly flanged in apical one 
quarter. Head relatively narrow; yellow-brown; 
sparsely covered with scattered small punctures about 
the size of eye facets. Antenna short, reaching to about 
middle of prothorax, apical five segments noticeably 
larger than rest, apical segment largest. Pronotum 
wider behind, sides weakly bowed outwards when 
viewed from above; hind margin widely triangularly 
produced backwards in middle; with well marked plica 
reaching one third way across pronotum, curving 
inwards; area between plicae depressed; strongly 
punctured, particularly at sides and at front; yellow- 
brown with front margin and area between plica darker. 
Elytron dark yellow-brown with striae, other than at 
sides, outlined in dark-brown to black. Striae 
composed of rather large well impressed punctures, 
those in inner two striae about half size of others. 
Interstrial area impunctate, sutural row of punctures 
sparse and very small. Elytral plica moderately 
marked, a little longer than pronotal plica. Pronotal 
process broad, with row of strong punctures along 
edges, concave in cross-section. Mcsostemum raised 
in forward midsection, without lateral ridge but sharply 
undercut; front portion same width as pronotal process 
and slightly depressed in midline; midline with 
scattered small punctures, larger towards rear, lateral 
sections covered in many strong punctures. Punctures 
on coxal plate vary from very strong laterally to 
subobsolete in midline, largest slightly smaller than 
those at sides of mesosternum. Abdominal segments 
with small to moderate sized but well marked 
punctures; apical segment strongly punctured. 
Undersides dark yellow-brown with extensive dark 

Male: Protarsi a little expanded. 

Distribution (Fig. 13) 

Coastal Queensland from Brisbane to Cooktown. 


H. bistriatus appears to be relatively common in 
coastal Queensland where it is the only Haliplus with 
pronotal plicae and depressed basal area of pronotum. 
It is readily separated from the more southerly H. 
gibbus and H. fuscatus with which it shares these 
characters, by the larger and distinctly curved pronotal 
plicae and the presence of well marked, though short, 
elytral plicae. The aedeagus is distinctive. The type 
locality is given as Adelaide. In the absence of the type 
this must throw doubt on my identification of this 
Queensland species. However, the description fits this 
species particularly in the unique (in Australia) 
character of having both pronotal and elytral plicae. 
This species has also been recorded from New 
Caledonia by Fauvel (1883) whose specimens were 
identified by Wehncke. 

Haliplus gibbus Clark 

(Figs 8 & 9) 

Haliplus gibbus Clarke, 1862, p. 400. 


H. gibbus, Iectotype,M. with genitalia extracted, 'S. 
Aust. Bakewell 59/24\ previously with BM(NH) type 
and syntype labels, in BMNH, here designated. 

Description (number examined 32) 

Length 2.4-3.2 mm. Widely oval. Lateral edges of 
elytra parallel in central half. Elytron weakly flanged in 
apical quarter. Head relatively narrow, yellow-brown, 
sparsely punctured with small punctures about size of 
eye facet. Antenna short, reaching to about middle of 
prothorax, ten segmented, apical segment largest, next 
four subequal and noticeably larger than rest. 
Pronotum wider behind, sides srrjoothly diverging or 
slightly bowed except for hind corners where 
subparallel for short distance, hind margin widely 
triangularly produced backwards in middle, well 
marked sharp plicae to one quarter to one third width of 
pronotum, subparallel or weakly converging, 
positioned in line with front comers of pronotum, area 
between plicae depressed, moderately punctate, 
punctures uneven in size and distribution small on disc 
large at sides, yellow-brown, with front margin and 
area between plica often darker. Elytron yellow-brown 
with striae on disc outlined in dark -brown or black, 
some specimens with vague darker patches on elytron, 
nine elytral striae composed of moderately impressed 
punctures, those on inner two or three striae weaker, 
interstriae impunctate, sutural punctures sparse, very 
small, elytral plicae absent but punctures at front of 
stria five close together and often with their lateral 
margins accentuated. Pronotal process broad, margins 
ridged, concave in cross section. Mesosternum raised, 
weakly longitudinally depressed on forward 
midsection, fornt corners wider than adjacent pronotal 
process with distinct tendency to be bulbous and 
delineated from rest of mesoternum by fine line 
running backwards for about half length of segment. 
Lateral lobes of mesoternum with a few very large 
punctures, midline with subsolete to moderate 
punctures, larger behind. Coxal lobes strongly 
punctured laterally, weakly so towards midline. 
Undersde yellow-brown often with considerable 
brown-black areas, particularly pronotal process, 
lateral areas of mesosternum, first three abdominal 
segments ane parts of legs. Abdominal segments 
weadly punctured except apical one which has a few 
stronger ones. 

Male : Protarsi weakly expanded. 

Distribution (Fig. 13) 

The wetter areas of southern W.A., S.A., Victoria and 

Tasmania. A southern species. Populations of either 



tfife species or H. fuscatus or some very similar species 
are also known from Lake Gailee in Central 
Queensland and near {Catherine in the N.T. 
Unfortunately these are only represented in collections 
(CW & SAMA) by females so their taxonomic status 
is uncertain. 

HaUplus /meatus Clark 
(Figs 11 & 12) 

Haliplus fuscatus Clark 1862, p. 400. 


H. fuscatus, Holotypc, F. no data, in BMNH, locality 
given as Adelaide by Clark. 

Description (number examined 13) 

As for H. #ibbus except for the aedeagus which is 
much narrower. 

Distribution (Fig. 13) 

Victoria, S.A. (type) and Rotlnest Island, W.A. 


Does not appear to be as common as H. gibbus, nor 
as widespread. I have been unable to separate this 
species from H. gibbus. Although only known for 
certain from Rotlnest Island, W.A. and Victoria, 
further collecting will undoubtedly extend its known 
distribution (See also note under H gibbus). The type of 
H. fuscatus is a female and as such I cannot assign it lo 

either of the two species of southern Australian 
Haliplus with weak or absent elytral plicae and straight 
pronotal plicae. Future studies may well show that H, 
fuscatus is a synonym (senior) for H. gibbus and that 
the species described above as H. fuscatus is new. In a 
previous publication (Watts 1985) 1 listed H. fuscatus 
and H. gibbus as synonyms since 1 was unable to 
separate the types. 


I thank the curators of the collections listed earlier for 
allowing me to examine specimens in their care. In particular, 
I thank ME. Bacchus [BMNH j for sending type material and 
searching for the type of H. bisttiatus. Mrs P. Kidd and Mrs 
D. Brunker typed the MS. Special thanks are due to Ms J. 
Thurmer for several of the illustrations and to Dr E. Matthews 
for comments on the manuscript. 


FAUVEL, A. 1883. Les Coleopteres de la Nouvelle- 

Caledonie et Depenances. Revue dEnt. 2: 335-372. 
REGIMBART, M. 1899. Revision des Dyliscidae de la 

region Indo-SinoMalaise. Ann. Soc. Ent. France 68: 

CLARK, H. 1 862 Catalogue of the Dytiscidae and Gyrinidae 
of Australasia, with description of new species. J. Entom. 
WATTS, C.H.S. 1985. A faunal assessment of Australian 

Hydradephaga. Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. Phi tad. 137: 22- 

WEHNCKE, E. 1880. Neue Haliplus Stett. Ent. Zeitung 

75: 72-75. 



H. fuscatus 

H. fuscatus or H. gibbus 

H. bistriatus 
■ H. alastairi 
o H. gibbus 


FIGURE 13. Distribution map of H. fuscatus, H. bistriatus, H, alastairi and H. gibbus. 

FIGURE 14. Distribution map of//, sindus, H. testdo, H. nicholasi and H. stepheni. 




byG. G. Scott &K. C. Richardson 


Many of the bones from the axial skeleton of the extant hairy-nosed wombat, Lasiorhinus latifrons 
(Owen, 1845) and common wombat Vombatus ursinus (Shaw, 1800) are statistically significantly 
different. The gross morpohological features are summarised to facilitate rapid specimen 
identification at the generic level. 

osik()logicaldiffkrkn( ^softheaxialskf;i>:tonbetwi;i:n 

lasiorhinus lath rons (owkn, 1845) and vombatls lrsfms 

(shaw, 1800) <\1 arscim \ua: vomba tidae) 



SCOTT, C.x;.. & RICHARDSON, K.C. I"S7, Ostcoloincal differences o\ the axial skeleton of 
C&StorhtmiX htifmis (Owen, IM4.S) ami Vnruhoms nninus (Shaw. IK(HI) (Marsupiulia: Vombatidae). 
Kn\ S 4(/-vr Af//.\-22il) 29-39 

Many ot the hones from the axial skeleton of the extant hairy nosed wmnhidJAisiorhJmis knifrons 
(Owen, $451 and common wombat. \,>inhotu\ mx/ntts (Shaw. 1X00) arc statistically significantly 
different The gross morphological features arc summarised lo facilitate rapid specimen identification 
at the generic level. 

\ number of newly recognised diagnostic differences arc recorded: 0) atlas, (a) transverse processes, 
short and cylindrical in /, farif'rons. hm femjj and flat in \ ur\hw\, (hi cranial articular surface, dorsal 
border begins above rool of transverse process in L (uitjnms. bur below in I , ar\ttms. tc.i intervertebral 
fonimcu. small m /, idtijiinis. but la rye in V tusimts, (d) neural arch, tubercle present at the apex in L. 
(oiijh'tis. hut a sulcus in \ ursinus. (c) transverse foramen, almost enclosed by bone in \ WS1MUL but 
open m i faiffti>n,\, (0 lamina, cranial border tlat in / , htfijhm, but arched in \ . tn\hun:{i]} faft, (a) 
transverse processes. extend latcrocuudally beyond caudal surface ol vertebral body in I ursfnti.\, bin 
terminate level with, or before. caudal surface ol vertebral body in L hittnms (hi dens, directed 
crauiodorsally , ape\ Iota above dorsal surlacc ol vertebral body in L. lut([n>n>, bul projecls erani ally, and 
apex lies below dorsal surface ol vertebral body m \ unhmy. liii) manubrium of sternum, (a) artuulat 
proccs* tor clavicle, corneal in /-. latijnm.s, bul laterally flattened in \ ttr\inn.\; (bi clavicular notch, 
shallow hi t , iittijnws. but deep in V ttrstmiw Significant differences in s»/c were found for to uxrs. 
lamtna thickness, lamina diameter, dens length: lii) thoracic venebiue.dorsovcntraldiamelcrof body of 
all hut the 3rd vertebra, cramocaudal diameter ot vertebral body of 1st. 2nd. 7ih. l 'lh. 1 0th, I Ith, I2ih jih! 
I Mb vertebrae: ith) lumbar vcriebrae. maMmum transverse process diameter of 1st. 2nd and ird 
vertebrae- (tv ) sacral vertebrae, maximum transverse process diamelerof 2nd. 3rd and 4th vertebrae; and 
(\ ) shall diameter lor ribs 11.12 and I h 

fi.Ci- .Srotl A K,C Richardson. School o\' Veterinary Studies, Murdoch I diversity. Murdnck Western 
Australia ftt|50, Manuscript received Is June 10S7. 

The common wombat \ tnahaiits utwinu.s (Shaw, 
I K0O) was first discovered by Bass on Clarke Island in 
Bass Snail in 1 797, A I (hough the skull aroused consid- 
erable Utxoiioitiic discussion from I K00, it was only in 
1K3K Ihul Owen first described i(s axial skelelon. 
Owen added lo this description in IK3*), Subsequent 
work on the axial skeleton by Eveiett (1853) and 
Home ( 1853) provided no new information. 

hvcii though (he hairy-nosed wombat Lasiorhtnus 
A;///n>//.v(Owen f 1 845) was first discovered in 1845, it 
was in 1X67 that Muric described its axial skeleton and 
compared il wilh I' h/Mhu\. Other workers such as 
Lydekker (IX°4), Murie (IS92) and Marlow t .1965) 
confitmed, to part, many ofMurie's (1867) findings, 
but added hllle lo I he existing information 

To date the descriptions of the axial skeleton oi the 
two wombat genera have lacked adequate detail. In 
many instances, they wete not accompanied ny htgtfttS 
or definitions t* ♦ allow ready specimen identification 
especially ol isolated small bones. 

This paper presents a number ot newly recognised 
diagnostic features mid incorporates, where valid, 
previously described diagnostic features 

M,MhKIA1.S anu Mi nioos 


Bones of Ihe axial skelelon of L. Idtifnvis and 1 
ursttms were examined in (he colleclions of (he Aus- 
tralian Museum. Sydney; Museum of Victoria, Mel 
bourne; Queensland Museum, Bnshane; South Aus- 
tralian Museum. Adelaide; and Western Australian 
Museum. Penh. Feu this study additional specimens of 
I Idfifrtm* were collected ai Blanchetoan, Roonk.i 
and Swan Reach in Souih Australia; and of I . urs'mns 
over the Great Dividing Range and adjacent regions. 


The morphology of the axial skeleton bones was ex 
amined and any diagnostic features not previoiisU 
recorded in the literature noted, Both adult and jtivti 
nile specimens were examined, bul onJy bones from 
adults were compared lor diagnostic purposes Linear 
measurements were made with vernier callipers <.,. 
adult specimens. 



Altai Skeleton Measurements 

1 . Atlas 

(i) lamina, craniocaudal diameter at summit; 
(ii; maximum dorsovcmral height from apex of 
arch to ventral surface of body. 

2. Axis 

ii > maximum dorsovenlral height from apex of 

spinous process to ventral surface of btxly. 
(ii) lamina, thickness at point of maximum 

constriction dorsal to the caudal articular 

(ui) lamina, craniocaudal diameter ut point of 

maximum constriction dorsal lo the caudal 

articular surface: 
(iv) dens, length from ventral surface to apex; 
(v) dens, maximum lateral diameter; 
(vi) vertebral body, dorsoventral diameter at 

(Vii) vertebral body, craruocaudal diameter. 

including dens, at midline; 
(viii) spinous process, length from apex of 

vertebral foramen to summit of spine. 

3. Cervical Vertebrae 

(i) maximum combined diameter of the 
transverse processes. 

4. Thoracic Vertebrae 

(i) vertebral body, dorsoventral diamelcr at 

(ii) lamina, craniocaudal diameter at point of 

maximum constriction dorsal tu caudal 

articular surface; 
(hi) spinous process, length from apex of 

vertebral foramen to summit of spine; 
(iv) maximum combined diameter of the 

transverse processes; 
<v) maximum dorsoventral height from apex of 

spinous process lo ventral surface ol body; 
<vi) vertebral body, craniocaudal diameter a I 


5. Lumbar Vertebrae 

ft) maximum combined diameter of the trans- 
verse processes. 

6. Sacral Vertebrae 

(i) maximum combined diameter of the trans- 
verse processes. 

7. Coccygeal Vertebrae 

(i) maximum combined diameter of the 

transverse processes, 
(ii) vertebral body, craniocaudal diauietet :it 


8. Sternum 

(i) manubrium, craniocaudal length at midline: 


w. Ribs 


maximum diameter opposite articular 
surfaces for 1st ribs. 

shall, maximum diameter immediately 
distal to tubercle. 
Ostcological terminology used is as in the No/vino 
Atuitomieo Veterinona (Mabel vt ol. 1983). 


Methodology includes Student's Mcst. 2-'luiled\ 
and bi variate analysis (Simpson el al. 1 960). Bivariate 
regression analysis of specimens of known sex shows 
no significant sexual dimorphism for any of the char- 
acters examined, so measurements ol both sexes were 

Rest i is 


Size range overlap exists between \ . urstnus and L 
lotifrotts for most measurements. However, V. urstnus 
is significantly larger for: 

1. Axis, (i) lamina. dorsoventral thickness (P< 0.00 1 ); 
(ii) lamina, craniocaudal diameter {P < 0.001 l;(iii> 
dens, length t/ J < 0.001). 

2. Lumbar vertebrae- maximum combined diameterof 
the transverse processes Of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd vcrte 
brae (P < 0.001). 

3. Sacral vertebrae, maximum combined diameter of 
the transverse processes of the 2nd. 3rd and 4th verte- 
brae (P<0O0 1 > 

L, latifnms is significantly larger than V. urstnus 

1 . Thoracic vertebrae, (i) vertebral body, dorsoven- 
tral diameter. T2 and 1 I (P< 0.O01 );TI. 4, 6, 7 and 1 2 
(P < 0,01); and T5.S, 9, 10 and 13 (P < 0.05): (ii) 

Vertebral body, craniocaudal diameter, T I (/ > <0.00 1 ): 
andT2.7,9, 10, II, I2ancl I3(f <0.05). 

2. Lumbal vertebrae, maximum combincddiamelerof 
the transverse processes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd verte- 
brae (P< 0.001 ). 

3. Sacral vertebrae, maximum combined diameter of 
the transverse processes ol" the 2nd, 3rd and 4th verte- 
brae iP< 001 >. 

4. Ribs, shaft diameter of the 12th and I 3lh(/ 5 <O.OOI ) 
and l!ih(/ i <0.05>. 

Axial skeleton measurements for both taxa are 
given in Tables 2-16. 


I ( -nehml Column 

As Owen (1839), Wood Jones (1923), Lydekkcr 
j 1894). Mutie (\H61) and Marlow (I9f>5) correctly 
pointed out. V urstnus and L. latifrons possess differ- 
ent numbers of vertebrae in several parts of their 
vertehral column (Table 1 ). 


t V'/'V7iy// Vvrwlmw 

I iiese are rhe smallest vertebrae, excluding the coc- 
cygeal vertebrae. Only the atlas ami axis show any 
consistent gross morphological differences. 

Linear measurements show no significant differ- 
ences between the two wombat genera (Table 2.) 


L, lattfums 

V UlMtlUX 


short and 

long and 




Cranial articular 

begins nboVc 

begins below 


level of 

level of 








foramen - 


present al 

absenl, a 

ape* of neural 








1 junina. 

cranial border 


Ve.ntral arch 




A u v ■ 

L hitifroris 

\ ■', ursinus 






apex lies above 

apex lies below 

dorsal surface 

dorsal surface 

of vertebral 

of vertebral 



Spinous process. 

short and thick, 

long and 


terminates level 



wilh, or before, 

beyond caudal 

caudal surface of 

surface of 

vertebral body. 

vertebral body. 

Significant size differences in the axis were found 
for: (i) dorsoventral lamina thickness, iii) eranioeau- 
tlal lamina diameter, and (iii) dens length (Table 3). 

No gross morphological or significant size differ- 
ences were found between the two taxa for the five 
caudal cervical vertebrae (Table 4i. 

Thoracic Yeriehrae 

These arc morphologically similar in the two wom- 
bat raxa. L, latifrons is signtfieallv larger than V, 
ursinus in dorsoventral diameter of the vertcbal body 
forthe folIowingvcncbrae:T2and 1 1 (P<0.QU1 >;TI, 
4,o,7and 12(^-0.01); T5.S.9, I (land U(/V0.05) 
(Table 5), There were no significant size differences 
between (he two wombats for craniocaudal diameter 
of the lamina (Fable o). and length of the spinous 
process (Table 7). Maximal combined diameter of the 
transverse processes decreases from T I to a minimum 
al the 12th vertebra tn V ursinus, but at the \MU in /\ 
latifrons. There is no significant si/e difference be 
(ween the measurements appearing in Table X. Maxi- 
mum dorsoventral height o\ the vertebrae also de- 
creases eaudally to a point of minimum si/e at the 1 3th 
vertebra in V. ursinus. but I 2lh in /-. fa fifrons There is 
no significant si/e difference between the measure- 
ments in Table y. Contrary to this, craniocaudal 
diameter of the vertebral body increases eaudally m 
both genera. L. latifnnis is significantly larger than \ 
tuvnns for vertebrae: T I (F<0.0UI 1 and T2, 7, 0. 10, 
1 1. 12, 1.1 {[> < 0.05) (Table I CM. Mammillary proc- 
esses usually present at the 1 2th thoracic vertebra in \ 
ursinus, progressively increase in si/e to the second 
lumbar vertebra, then decrease in size to the end of the 
sacrum. In /., iatijnms they were generally present al 
the 13th thoracic verlebrae then progressively in- 
creased in size to the founh lumbar vertebra, and 
decreased in si/e to the \ytu\ of the sacrum. This is only 
of diagnostic value when measurements for dorsoven- 
tral vertebral body diameter (Table 5) and craniocau 
dal vertebral body diameter (Table 10) are also avail 

Lumbar Vertebrae 

These are morphologically similar in the two wom- 
bat tava. However, V ursinus possesses four, but L, 
fat if rans has six lumbal vertebrae (Table 1 I). Muxi 
mum combined diameter of the transverse processes 
of the first three vertebrae is significantly greater in V . 
ursinus\ there is no si/e overlap between the iwo 

Saaal Vertebra* 

In defining die number of sacral vertebrae in V 
ursinus, Owen ( I8b7) said.if we regard those venc- 
brae only as sacral which join the ossa tnnominata then 
there are but three. If on the other hand, anchylosis is 
the test, then the sacral vertebrae may vary from 3 to 
4-5, in number in different specimens'. On the anchy- 
losis criterion none of the \ ursinus specimens that 
we examined had only three vertebrae, but the major 
ily (4b. \%. n a 22) possessed four. On the otherhand 
three out of four of the L, latifmns specimens that we 
examined had four vertebrae, in addition, IheZ.. lab- 
pans sacrum is rostrally broader bul narrows ntOTC 
sharply eaudally i.e. the 5th vertebra is approximately 



44% narrower dun the 1st in L. larifroits, but -I'i 
narrower in V. tosinus. There arc no gross morpho- 
logical differences in the individual vertebrae to dis- 
linguish them between ihe two wombat tuxa. Lincai 
measurement*; show significant differences for (he 
rollowingvenebrae:S2.3and4(A ? <0.(K)l)(Table|2). 

Cm ( v,e/*ty/ \ t rtebt ae 

There are no consistent gross morphological or sig- 
nificant size difference in the individual bones to dis- 
tinguish them between the two wombat nixa I Tables 
I 3 and 14). 

Manubrium of the Sternum 

Gross morphological differences in the manubrium 
ol the iwo wombat genera were iound in the following 

process for 
the clavicle. 

notch i 

/.. latifrans 


V. Ursinux 


There were no significant size differences lot meas 
urements appearing in Table 15. Other stemebrac Irani 
the wombats were similar in form for each species. 


These are similar in the two wombat genera. The 
cranial ribs are more curved than those succeeding 
them, and maximum shaft diameter generally de- 
creases caudally through the rib scries, The rib shaft 
diameters for V , ursinus are significantly ^mallei than 
those for L. hmfnms for ribs: II (P< 6.05 l \1(P< 
0.001) and 13 (P < 0.00 )){ Tabic 16). 


Vertebral differences in ihe asial 4.clvion hihtui 
variations in burrowing behaviour of /_ ftjftjuws wid 
V uf\inus. For example, differences in ihe moiphol 
ogy of the alia* and a k\< Utc reflected in Angas" 1 1 KM 1 
observation thai \ . ursinus dves noi hold its bead as 
ereel as docs/,. ItJtifrnns when standing. Indeed this is 
suggested by the dorsocranial orientation of the ileus 
of the ax is in/., tulip mi*, a* well ashy the presence op 
the skull of a well developed nuchal crest at the 
lunetioM Of the parietal n^i occipital boiWS flW the 
attachment ot mm, re* ffuf <upilts, hi contrast the dens 
of I fvn/WM is directed cramally and (he parietal bone 
i$ flat. However, ihe transverse processes of the atlas 
ol v . urstuus are very large indeed when compared 10 
those in /. /rtrt/ronO'bis allows a greater surface areu 
f< m muscle atmchmem. paniculatly mm, ohfiumnMip- 
ilts and mm m{fftnw.svcisunt tfltigHX, and pinimhly 

facilitates a greater degree of head rotation, as well as 
more powerful lateral and dorsal head movements in 
V. imimis. 

As for the difference in the number of thoracic ver- 
tebrae and thus thoracic ribs, Owen (1H3K) believed 
thai I. urstnus had Ihe greater number i.e. 15 pairs ol 
ribs because The pressure to which the trunk of the 
Wombai musi occasionally he subjected, in its subter- 
ranean borrowings, is probably the condition of the 
development of the additional pairs of ribs'. Unfortu- 
nately L. hinfrtiths is also "a thorough adept in the an' 
of burrowing (Angas 1861). 

The reason probably lies with t . ursimts being 
greater in body size. However, the point of minimum 
combined vertebral transveise process diameter, and 
minimum overall dorsoventral si/e of die vertebrae, 
which together indicate the eeolrc of greatest spinal 
mobility, occurs at about the same point, ihe anticlinal 
vertebra, in the axial skeleton ol both genera. This 
Mipports Slijpcr's 1 1946) conclusion that the inelina 
uon of the neural spine does not depend on the con- 
struction of the trunk in its entirety, but instead must be 
affected only by the demands of the muscles and 
ligaments attached to rhem. In othci words, the reason 
forV unimt shaving 1 5 pairs of ribs, while L.Utfifnms 
only has 13 pairs, is a structural reflection of the nee*! 
to transmit a gtcater visceral weight via the ribs, and 
the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles, di 
rectly to the body's u\is than docs L. lufip-orfs. 

Slijper (1946) also found thai spinous process 
length is proportional to the mechanical demands of 
the body. They are on average, with ihe exception of 
thoracic vertebrae 6.7 and 8, the longest in I fatijr"n.\. 
This provides Ihe added mechanical advantage of a 
longer lever 10 move the diaphragmatic vertebrae 
which, together with iwtl fewer ribs, would undoubt- 
edly the ability of £- h,ittp*>n\\o bend its body 
laterally into curving tunnels 

t'nfnriiinnlely no mobility studies of the vvombal 
vertebfot column have yet been undertaken. But the 
getvru I gn iss morphology of the cerv ical . thoracic and 
luniks Wricbt&C >t.^esi a shift iti vcitchial column 
mobility The ccTtfitfttti «u$ Wty mobile in both dor- 
Mtveniral and lateral directions, especially in the era 
nial part of (he column in both genera, because ol the 
' free' and 'uncnihiaetng" nature ol the union between 
the prc-and posuygapophyses of successive cervical 
vertebrae. Thoracic vcrtehra I mobility is parrieulailv 
g^at in both genera. 

However, the I4l|i and I5lh thoracic venehrae in I 
KfMfun ate decidedly lumbar- like in appeal one e. but 
|mv ..m;ss libs' Indeed lumbar vertebrae numbers 3 -6 m 
L Idjifrum are more comparable m si/c to l-J in * 
ursirny 'Tabic I 1 1. In horh genera, Inmbor vertebrae 
Of (be postdiupOuiematic region of the spine are much 
less mobile in (he dorsal direction and almost 
absolutely immobile in the ventral direction Lai era I 
mobility ls negligible, the vertebrae being 'locked' 



together by their pre- and postzygapophyses. How- 
ever, the mobility of the lumbosacral joint appears to 
be comparatively great in both directions in both 
genera, though the union between the two is more 
'free 1 in /.. latifrons. 


We would like to thank Dr T. Flannery, Australian Mu- 
seum; Dr C.P. Groves, Australian National University; Dr D. 
Horton, Institute of Aboriginal Studies; Joan Dixon, National 
Museum of Victoria; Dr R. Molnar, Queensland Museum; Dr 

■r V 

4 % 

FIGURE 1 . Atlas of ( A)L. latifrons and (B) V. ursinus. Where 
a, transverse process; b, cranial articular surface; c, arrowed, 
dorsal tubercle; d, arrowed, intervertebral foramen; e. ar- 
rowed, dorsal sulcus; f, arrowed, incomplete ventral arch. 
Scale line is 1 centimetre. 


FIGURE 2. Axisof(A)L. latifrons and (B) V. ursinus. Where 
a, spinous process; b, arrowed, transverse process; c, cranial 
articular surface; d, arrowed, dens; e, vertebral foramen. 
Scale line is 1 centimetre. 


FIGURE 3. Sacral and coccygeal vertebrae of ( A) L. latifrons 
and (B) V, ursinus. Where a, sacral vertebrae; b,coccygeal 
vertebrae. Scale line is 1 centimetre. 



C. Kemper, South Australian Museum; for making material 
available lo us; and to Dr D. Kitchener. Western Australian 
Museum for the specimens used in the photographs. Drs C.P. 
Groves and D. Morton both gave valuable advice and support 
over the duration of the project. We wish to thank Mr G. 
Griffiths for photography and Ms 0. Passrnorc for so care- 
fully typing the paper and its earlier drafts. The project was 
primarily supported by an Australian National University 
Research Grant. 


KIGURE4.Manubrium of sternum of ( A)L. latifrons and ( B ) 
V. ursinus. Where a, arrowed, articular process for clavicle; 
h. arrowed, articular process for 1st rib. Scale line is I cen- 


ANGAS, G.K 1K6L Notes on the broad-fronted wombat of 
South Australia (Phuscofomvs latifrons Owen). Pnn\ 
Zoot. Sm: Load. 1K61 ; 268-271. 

EVERETT, H. 1K53. Descriptive catalogue of the osteologi- 
cal series. Royal College of Sui -geaw of England (Lon- 
don), p. 331. 

HA BEL, RE.. FREWEfN, J r , SACK, W.O. (Eds). 1083. 
"Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria" 3rd ed. International 
Committee on Veterinary Anatomical Nomenclature. 
Ithaca, New York. 

HOME, E. 1853. Descriptive catalogue of the osteological 
series. Roval College of Surgeons tsf England (London), 
p. 331. 

LYDLKKER.R. 1894. 'The Wombats'.//; Marsupials. John 
F. Shaw and Co. Ltd, London. 

MARLOW.BJ. 1965. Wombats. Aust. Nat. Hist. 15(3). 65 

MURIE, J 1867. On the identity ol the hairy-nosed wombat 
iPhastohmys Ui.siorhinus Gould) with the broad-nosed 
wombat (/'. lailftons Owen). Prot- Zo/)L Soc Loud, lor 

MURIE, J. 1892. Remarks on Posi-Tertiary Phascolomidae. 
Prot\ Eitm, Sbd of New South Wales, 2nd series, lor 
1892, VI, 235-246. 

OWEN, R. 1838. On the Osteology of the Marsupialia, 
Trans, ZaoL Soc. Land. 26: 379-412. 

OWEN, R. 1839. Outlines of a classification of the 
Marsupialia. Trans. Zool. Soc. Land. 22: 315-333. 

SHAW, G. 1800. 'General Zoology*. Kearsley, London, 

SIMPSON, G.G,. ROE. A., & LEWONT1N, R.C. I960. 
'Quantitative /oology'. Harcoun, Brace and World, Inc., 
New York. 

SL1JPER. E.J. 1946. Comparative biologic anatomical in- 
vestigations on the vertebral column and spinal muscula 
tureof mammals. Kon Ned. Akad Wet., Verh. (Tweede 
Sectie), DLXLll.No.5: 1-128. 

TABLE I. Vertebral formula in V , ursinus and L. latipc/is 


V. ursinus 

L. latifrons 











i5- to 

TABLE 2. Atlas dimensions (mm) in V. ursinus and L. latifrons. Measurements: (1), craniocaudal diameter of the 
lamina; (2\ maximum dorsoventral height of the vertebra. 

Measurements (mm) 

V, ursinus 
n mean sd 

/., latifi'onx 
n mean sd 


14 13.6 1.82 
14 303 L94 

6 13.0 1.90 
6 30.7 2.68 



TABLE 3, Axis dimensions (mm) in V. ursinus and L. Iatifrons. Measurements: (1), maximum dorvosentral height of the 
vertebral (2), dorsoventral thickness of the lamina; (3). cranioeaudal diameter of the lamina; (4), dens length; (5), maximum 
lateral diameter of the dens; (6), dorsoventral diameter of the body; (7). cranioeaudal diameter of the vertebral body; (8), 
spinous process length. 

V. ursinus 

L, Iatifrons 

Measurements (mm) 




















0.40 *** 







1.60 *** 







0.78 *** 





























***/>< 0.00 1 

TABLE 4. Cervical vertebrae, maximum combined diameter of the transverse process (mm) in V. ursinus and L. kitifrons 

V- ursinus 

L. iatifrons 

Measurements (mm) 







C I (atlas) 







2 (axis) 









































TABLE 5. Thoracic vertebrae, dorsoventral diameter of the vertebral body (mm) in V. ursinus and L. Iatifrons- 

V. ursinus 

L. Iatifrons 

Measurements (mm) 







T 1 






0.99 ** 







0.99 *** 



II. 1 











2.16 ** 



11. 1 




1.99 * 







1 .69 ** 







1.40 ** 







1.41 * 







1.18 * 







1.19 * 







0.80 *** 







1.15 ** 







1.08 * 









P<0.05; **P<0.01; *** P< 0.001 



TABLE 6. Thoracic vertebrae, craniocaudal diameter of the lamina (mm) in V. ursinus and L. latifrons. 

V. ursinus 

L. latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 







T 1 













1 .60 



































2 27 


i 1 








1 7.0 















1 .63 


























TABLE 7. Thoracic vertebrae, length of the spinous process (mm) in V. ursinus and L. latifrons. 

V. ursinus 

L. latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 





mean sd 

T 1 





48.7 3.49 






48.9 2.54 






46.4 4.25 






47.6 4.02 






50.8 2.62 






47.2 3.53 






45.0 5.35 






41.0 7.39 






40.7 2.83 






34.9 3.63 






32.0 6.67 






29.5 5.66 






26.9 5.12 









TABLE 8. Thoracic vertebrae, maximum combined diameter of the transverse processes (mm) in \ . ursinus and L, latifrons, 

V. ursinus 

L, latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 







T 1 





































































































TABLE 9. Thoracic vertebra, 

maximum ciorsoventral height (i 

urn) in V. ursinus and L. latifrons. 

V, ursinus 

L. latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 

n mean 


n mean 


T 1 

9 52.3 


4 59.0 



1 1 49.6 


3 51.4 



10 45.6 


3 50.0 



1 1 44.5 


3 50.5 



9 43.7 


3 50.5 




12 43.1 
12 42.7 


4 51.9 
3 52.8 



10 42.7 


4 49.8 



10 42.4 


3 47.9 



9 41.6 


4 45.4 



11 41.6 


3 44.5 



1 1 40.9 


3 43.9 



1 1 40.7 


3 44.0 



II 41.3 



8 43.7 


TABLE 10. Thoracic vertebrae, craniocaudal diameter of the vertebral body (mm) in V. ursinus and /.. latifrons. 

V. ursinus 

L. latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 







T 1 






0.69 *** 







1.68 * 


































0.35 * 














1.59 * 







2.17 * 







2.38 * 






3.00 * 






3.32 * 









* P < 0.05; ***/>< 0.001 

TABLE 1 1 . Lumbar vertebrae, maximum combined diameter of the transverse processes (mm) in V. ursinus and L. latifrons- 

V. ursinus 

L. latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 













2 t}0 *** 







4.78 *** 







5.83 *** 
















**/>< 0.001 



TABLE 12. Sacral vertebrae, maximum combined diameter of the Transverse processes (mm) in V. ursinus and L latifrotis. 

V. ursinus 

L. laajtons 

Measurements (mm) 







S 1 













3.08 *** 







*<*} *** 







4 20 *** 













TABLE 13. Coccygeal vertebrae: maximum combined diameter of the tranverse processes (mm) in V. ursinus and/., latifrons. 

V, ursinus 

L. hit ij 'rons 

Measurements (mm) 






























39. 1 


































TABLE 14. Coccygeal vertebrae, craniocaudal diameter of the vertebral body (mm) in V. ursinus and /.. latifrons. 

V. ursinus 

L. lafifrons 

Measurements (mm) 



































































TABLE 15. Sternum, manubrium dimensions (mm) in V. ursinus and /.. latifrotis. Measurements: (1). maximum 
craniocaudal lengths; (2). maximum diameter opposite the articular surfaces for the 1st ribs. 

Measurements (mm) 


V. ursinus 



/.. luttfrons 













TABLE 16. Rib diameter (mm) in V. ur sinus and L. latifrons. 

V. ur sinus 

L. latifrons 

Measurements (mm) 



















































































0.81 * 







0.30 *** 







0.60 *** 









P< 0.05, ***/*< 0.001 



by W. H. Cleverly 


Australites from the vicinity of Finke, Northern Territory, are generally larger and less weathered 
than those of inland localities in Western Australia. Specific gravity studies show the presence of 
two populations, one of which contains the larger australites. Amongst notable specimens is one 
derived from a button which had an exceptionally large spherical primary body nearly 36 mm in 




PLfeVfiKl Y. W.H I'WK. Australia* Imm ihe vk inity o! Fftltei Northern Tcnnniy, Australia. /to - A\ 
Ausr.Mus. 22 <W: 4I-4K. 

Australians rVom the vicinity of Finke. Northern Territory, are generally larger ami less weathered 
than those of inland localities in Western Australia. Specific gravity studies show the presence of two 

tK>|Kila(n.nis.t)peiit"wtiich contains the targeratistralitts Among*! noijble specimens is ortculenved from 
a button which had an exceptionally large spherical primary body nearly 3d mm in diameter. 

W, II, Cleverly, Western Australian School pf Mines, K.algooi lie. Western Australia 6430. Manuscript 
received 15 June 19X7. 

The australites considered in tins paper form the 
major part of the Finke Collection which is registered 
under T130K T134I, T 1 34.3- T 1 36'). TI375-TI.W 
mid T ! T93 T 1 407 in the tetUitc collection ol the South 
Austiaiian Museum, Adelaide. The auslraliles were 
acquired by purchase in 1972 In mi (he former Apauila 
Mission located at Finke, N.T. (t.U'.UE. 2.V35'S). 

Ms a\M. Serymgour of the South Australian 
Museum look a representative grab sample and chose 
other auslraliles from the parcel available lot sale, 
which she estimated to number bclween 10 000 mk\ 
12000. When choosing specimens, the most 
weathered and ^shapeless" were excluded which 
increased slightly the classifiable percentage in this 

Some of the largest and most interesting specimens 
had been sold before the residue was ottered to the 
Museum. It was inescapable, therefore, that even the 
grab sample should be representative only of ihe 
residue and that the chosen material should have been 
both degraded by prior sales and further affected by 

Mt G. McTavtsh of the Apatula Mission stated that 
nearly all ihe auslraliles were found 'wilhm 30 miles' 
(48 km) of Finke (Fig. I ), but the distance is certainly 
vague, being hearsay from Aboriginal collectors, and 
the intensity of occurrence and/or collection may have 
varied grcally with direction from the Mission. An 
exception arc Ihe IS specimens from the mote south- 
erly localities, named in Fig. I outside the 48 km radius. 
The 18.38 specimens of the Finke collection may be 
reduced by these 18 and the 9 spurious ones detected 
to leave 1811 from the vicinity of Finke. The 1811 
comprise the representative sample of 304 (T 1 389) 
and 1507 chosen specimens. Differences between 
these two groups and from the original parcel are io be 
expected. Thus there are 40.2*& of essentially com- 
plete australites of mean weight 4.4 g in the grab 
sample and 45.7% of mean weight 4.2 c in the chosen 

material. The effects of prior sales cannot be esti- 
mated. In view of these uncertainties, the 181 1 speci- 
mens are henceforth treated as a single unit, but the 
inherent bias needs to be considered when making 
comparison with samples from elsewhere. 

Finke is near the northern boundary of the australite 
strewn field, whichever of several suggested 
boundaries is preferred. It is the most northerly centre 
in its longitude around which australites have been 
found in quantity. There is partial overlap of the 
provenance with that of the Rennett Collection which 
is also held by the South Australian Museum. All 
localities of the small excluded southern group of the 
Finke Collection lie within Ihe provenance i)\ the 
KenneU Collection (Fig. 1 1 and some of them were 
visited by Mi 'KenneU in his collecting (Fenner 1940). 

The large number of australites known from the 
Finke andCharlottcWatersregions*- 18000 20000) 
may appear remarkable but a huge area is also in- 
volved. The average density represented is only about 
one australite per square kilometre. A larger numhei 
has been collected from a very much smaller area in 
Western Australia (Cleverly 1980). 


A morphological classification of the 1811 auslral- 
iles is presented in Table I using Ihe syslcm ol Clev- 
erly ( 1986). Representatives of 30 of the 48 recognised 
shape types are present, a large number considering 
the severity of the climate in central Australia. How 
ever, only 1 7 shape types, a more realistic number, arc 
present in the grab sample. 

Extracts have been made from Table 1 for 
comparison in Table 2 with a sample from Ldjudiua 
Station (cenlred 1 22 2 1 *£, 29 U 49'S), a lypical inland 
area of Western Australia from which a sample of 
comparable size is available. The percentage of 
classifiable specimens (Tabic 2) is distinctly higher at 



Finke. This percentage varies with the degree of 
exactitude written into the system of classi fieulion. bin 
when the same system is used by the same person, the 
principal residual cause of difference between 
representative samples is the intensity of weathering 
and erosion. There is some evidence that the lesser 
degree of weathering of the Finke australites is real 
rather than the result of bias in the sample. There are 49 
specimens in the Finke collection showing radial 
secondary schlieren on the anterior surface. Such 
schlieren are particularly sensitive indicators of the 
degree of weathering because they were within the last 
film of migrating secondary melt, a layer only a few 
tenths of a millimetre thick. The schlieren are made 
more evident by light differentia! etching but are 
readily removed by abrasion. There do not appear to be 
any published abundance figures but personal 
experience is that it would be unusual to find more than 
a fraction of that number in a collection of comparable 
size from inland Western Australia. One only such 
specimen was found in 1 883 australites from Edjudina 
Station. Nor is it likely that all such specimens could 
have been selected for the Finke Collection unless the 
large parcel were scrutinized exceptionally carefully. 
Even if this were so, the abundance would be about 8 
per 1883 of the original parcel, i.e. 8 times that at 

The percentages of the plan view shapes (round, 
oval and so on) are much the same at Finke as at 
Edjudina Station (Table 2), but this similarity may 
perhaps extend to any locality for which a sufficiently 
large and representative sample is available. How 
ever, the elevational shape abundances differ mark- 
edly. Flanged and allied fragile forms and indicators 
still in progress towards more stable lens and core 
forms total 13.9% at Finke against only 2.8% at Edju- 
dina Station (Table 2). Even in the degraded grab 
sample the total is 5.7%, confirming the lesser degree 
of weathering at Finke. 

The mean weight of 4,24 g for complete specimens 
is rather high but There is evidence in the core/lens 
abundance ratio of 0.74 (and 1 .26 in the grab sample) 
compared with only 0.49 at Edjudina that a high mean 
weight was to be expected. 

In summary, the less weathered condition and larger 
mean weight Of the Finke specimens compared with 
those from Edjudina Station are at least partly real 
rather than the result of bias in the sample. 

Specific gravity 

The specific gravity (S.G.) is of special interest 
because Chapman et al. (1964) found that the 
frequency diagram of S.G. for the Kennett Collection 
from an adjoining and partially overlapping 
provenance is bimodal, suggesting the presence of two 
australite populations. They further noted that the 
difference between component populations was one of 

size only. The 28 large cores investigated by them 
belonged to the component of lower density, whilst 
medium-sized lenses and small cores included both 
components. Subsequently Chalmers claL (1976: 32) 
noted the presence of two components further south in 
the Lake Torrens - Lake Eyre region and drew 
attention to the explanation offered initially by 
Summers (1913) that a band of australites of low S.G. 
is present between Victoria and the Lake Eyre region 
and a more widely distributed population of higher 
S.G. A frequency diagram for a sample of 202 
specimens from Finke (Fig. 2) is also bimodal but 
differs in detail from both the preceding. 

If only one of the populations contains large indi- 
viduals of low density, its existence should be evident 
on a mass-S.G. scatter diagram, but attention is first 
drawn to a relationship between mass and S.G. which 
is compounded with variation resulting from the 
chemistry. Australites contain bubble cavities of a 
range of size and irregular distribution. It is therefore 
expected that the largest individuals of a population as 
the largest samples of a heterogeneous material will 
have the best chance of representing average material 
for that population and will show a relatively small 
variation in S.G. from one specimen to another. When 
successively smaller sizes are considered, the ratio of 
surface to volume increases, and with it the probability 
that cavities will be breached; hence the upper limit oi' 
S.G. rises. But simultaneously, if cavities of signifi- 
cant size arc present but are not exposed, their effect 
upon the S.G. is greater than for large australites and 
the lower limit falls. Thus the entire range of S.G. is 
extended. For example, 29 unusually large australites 
from south-western Australia (Cleverly 1974, 1981; 
Cleverly & Scrymgour 1978; Scrymgour 1978) of 
average mass exceeding 1 70 g have specific gravities 
extending over a range of only 0.3 units whilst a 
sample of 46 specimens from Kulin West, which is 
about central to the region, and of mass ranging down 
to 1 g have S.G. values extending overO. 6 units. Thus, 
for a large sample, if mass is plotted as ordinate against 
S.G. as abscissa, the points representing individuals 
are likely to fall within a triangular area with its base 
on the x-axis, the largest individuals with small vari- 
ability of S.G. occupying the apical region and the 
smallest ones occupying the broader base of the tri- 

There may also be an effect related to sample size. 
A numerically small sample usually shows a small 
variation in S.G. but a larger sample may contain the 
more extreme and rarer variations in size and chemis- 
try and hence show a larger range of S.G. This effect 
is unlikely to be a major cause of difference when the 
sample numbers (29 and 46 in the above example) are 
of the same order. 

Consider now the scatter diagram for the Finke 
sample (Fig. 3). The log-linear plot accommodates the 
large range of mass in which the number of individuals 



decreases rapidly with increase in rmtss. but has tbc 
effect of bending the sides of ihe (wo it jungles which 
muv be visualized as enclosing at) except two points. 
One of Ihe exceptional points could be accounted lor 
bv a bubble cavity in the order of 4 mm diameter; the 
other exceptional specimen is perhaps an import to rhc 
area. To assist in defining the apices of the triangles. 
Ihc S.G's of 27 additional large specimens were 
determined. Tbc apices are approximately on rhc 
mottijl S.G, values previously established. Most of the 
liH'gcr specimens including till those weighing more 
ihau 2H g arc in the triangle corresponding lo the lower 
mode and it is also cleat front the frequency polygon 
lor larger specimens in Fig, 2 Ihat their contribution is 
especially lo the lower mode. There are thus (wo 
auslralite populations Tbc one ol lower modal 
h;r% d larger range of si/e than ihc one of high modal 

Nonsox Inoivuhia! Shiimiv. 

toUhuIti.nyl IIMO 

nimi-nM.-ns H.s \4,(,,v 7t mm. Weight 0.431 g. 
Small bowls sometimes lulled during a late ^lagc ol 
ablation night by folding on B binge, the opposing 
sides tabling backw aid away from the pressure on the 
convex anterior surface (Cleverly I*)?*)). The leas! 
folded specimens simply show undulation of the rear 
margin. More intensely tawed specimens show (lie 
sides increasingly high retail veto!) ic ends of ihc hinge 
nniilconlaci ismadeatthemid-pomt of the 'lips '.This 
last is the degree o\ folding show n by the Finke speci - 
men (Fie. 5 Al A4k which has an elliptical area nt* 
fused cotnaci c. 4 % l nun representing about IO L ;i 
\$% of the area oi the sides. The calculated original di 
mensious ol i.he bowi (Cleverly 1977i arc very ap- 
proximate because of somewhat asymmetrical folding 
and distort]/'" It was a round or slightly oval Kiwi, H. 
10x9x5 mm (Fig. 4A and Bi. 

tiutt.mxTmi and 11314 

The button Tl 31 1 (Fig. 5 BI-B3) is one of several 
which arc surprisingly well preserved. The stale of 
preservation has prompted the making ot some meas- 
urements andcalculaiions relaiing to the primary body 
and us secondary development for comparison with 
buttons from Victoria The less well-preserved button 
TI3I4 (Fig. 5Q was also measured and calculated, 
lite results lor this second button arc placed in brack- 
ets immediately after those of TI31 1 

I'he radius ol die primary sphere (Fig. 4C) was 
determined from two traverses of the posterior surface 
of Hight in phmrx normal lo the surface and at right 
angles to each other using a travelling vernier 
microscope. This tedious method has the advantage 
over projection nt an enlarged profile thai 
observations are made on pans which would otherwise 
be obscured by flange, ihus reducing the risk that an 

oblately spheroidal primary body will be mistaken fat 
a sphere. The radii are 8.6 ( 10.5) mm and K S 1 1 1 ()> 
nun. Using the mean radius, the piimai) sphere had 
volume 2.76 (5,20>em' and the mass was 6,66(1 2.77) 
g. provided that the primary sphere had the same S.G. 
2.415 (2.449) as the button formed trom it. 

The radius of curvature of the anterior surface. 
which is complicated by the presence of flow ridges. 
w as determined from profiles projected with a lantern. 
These profiles m the same planes as the traverses of the 
posterior surface have radii 11.2(1 3,71 mm and 1 1 .0 
( 1 2.7 1 mm respectively. The volume of the body ol the 
button (i.e. the hutton less the flange) was then calcu 
lated as LIS (2.57) em by regarding the body as 
comprising segments of two spheres ol kimwu ladn, 
base lo basft 

The volume of the button was calculated as 1.72 
i V20) em' from loss of weight in pure toluene at 
know n temperature and thus ol known S.G. Hence by 
difference, (he volume of the flange is r- 0.54 (0.6 "*> 
fcjft 1 . 

The volume of ihe secondary body at the time whu> 
the frontal surlacc Utfkl encroached upon the *equa!or' 
ol the primary sphere was calculated as t_K2(3.65icm l 
by the same method as tor the body. It was assumed 
that curvature ol the anterior surface wasthe samethen 
as now (dotted line of Fig. 4t"Lan assumption likely to 
only approximately correct. From thai time onward 
tlrc flanks of the secondary body, previously divergent 
rearward, became increasingly couvcrecn! Melt 
stripped from the anterior surface could be caught in 
the eddy currents behind Ihe leading edge and curled 
into the protective shadow' of the cooler posterior 
surface i.e. flange building could commence. 

Since the volume ol the body is I -IS (2.,57Um'.the 
volume of material stripped from the anterior surface 
tluring the potentially flange-forming stage was fJ.ft4 
{ I.OK) cm'. The flange volume is 0.54(0.63) cm and 
therefore RS^ i59sf i of the stripped material -was 
retained upon the button as flange. 

The above may also he expressed in terms of per- 
centages of the volume of the primary sphere .Thus the 
total loss from the frontal surface was 57.1 (5(f6) r v 
but 19.7 (12.2)^ was retained as flange, so that tin- 
volume of the button and ner loss from ihe primary 
bodv are: - 

100 - 57.1 + &7 - 62.6% Loss 37.4% 

( 100 50.6 4- t2.2 = 61 SJB Loss 38.4*. > 

These figures are within the wide limits found by 
Baker ( ts>62) for buttons from Victoria. 

nntr<vi$ 77 .W 

One specimen (Fig. 5D) has a distinct roll in the 
posterior surface of the flange and a gap beneath it 
suggesting that whilst still hot the flange was partially 
detached and pushed backward. A similar specimen 
has been noted and illustrated by Fcmner < 1940' 174 
and PI. IV, Ala 7 and 10), but whether an entrapped 



bubble was the cause of weakness and detachment or 
whether the air-filled gap is the result of the detach- 
ment is not clear. 

The other specimen (Fig. 5 El andE2)hasadistinct 
gap in the tlange. Two possibilities are suggested : 

(L) This is a stage beyond that of the previous speci- 
men and a short length of flange was completely 
detached. If so, it is puzzling thai orientation should 
have been maintained and the scar smoothed by further 
ablation. Flow ridges are continuous around the dip in 
the edge (Fig 5 E2). 

(ii) The specimen is one half of a symmetrical 
flanged dumbbell which was ablated to the stage of 
separation. Again, the maintenance of orientation 
presents a problem though it would need to persist only 
briefly after separation to smooth the break. 

Round indicator I TI375 

This specimen (Fig. 5 Fl to F3) derived from a 
button is uniquely large for its type amongst the 
estimated 60 000 australites which the writer has 
examined. It has dimensions 35.7 x 29.3 x 20.5 mm 
including the surviving remnants of stress shell and 
flange. Mass 2 1 .326 g, S.G. 2.438. The primary sphere 
had diameter 35.9 mm, volume c, 24 cm' and mass c. 
59g on the assumption that it had the same S.G. as the 

The manner of development of secondary bodies is 
size-dependent. The largest primary bodies were not 
ablated to an extent sufficient for flanges to form but 
they usually shed the stress shell spontaneously to 
become cores. Primary bodies of medium to small size 
were ablated to the stage when a flange could develop 
but the total expansion and contraction were less than 
for large bodies and the stress shell was usually 
retained, perhaps to be lost later together with flange 
during terrestrial residence. The upper limit of size for 
the medium group is usually placed at about 30 mm 
diameter for spheres or 30 mm thickness for other 
bodies measured parallel to the line of flight. Thus, for 
example, the largest primary sphere of 23 butions 
studied by Baker (1962; 277) was 27.1 mm diameter. 

The large round indicator I draws attention to a 
shadowy and ill-defined category of behaviour be- 
tween the medium-sized 'flahge^forming 1 primary 
bodies and the larger 'core-forming' primary bodies. 
The 30 mm dimension is not necessarily the upper 
limit of size for bodies which developed flanges but 
only the usual limit for those with incontrovertible 
evidence of having done so. The larger the body, the 
more readily would it discard the stress shell with the 
flange. Baker (1962: 302) has listed a round indicator 
I derived from a primary sphere 34.7 mm diameter. 
That specimen and the one under discussion with 
primary sphere 35.9 mm diameter represent the known 
upper limit of 35 - 36 mm for the category in which 
flange was formed and almost immediately lost again 
when the stress shell was detached. In rare instances 
such as these two specimens a remnant of the flange 

survives to indicate beyond doubt that flange develop- 
ment occurred. The Finke specimen is also excep- 
tional in its degree of preservation, having a shallow 
obtuse ridge upon the anterior surface marking a line 
of parting of the stress shell (Cleverly 1987). 

Complementary to the preceding specimen is a 
teardrop-indicator II having only a short length of the 
butt of the flange (Fig. 5 G 1 -G3). The styles of the two 
specimens are very similar. It is likely (hat the teardrop 
was in the same size category, but reconstruction of the 
parent body is not possible with confidence. Obtuse 
ridges are present on the anterior surface of this 
specimen also. 


I thank Ms J. M. Scrymgour for information on the 
acquisition and provenance of the Finke Collection 
and Dr Brian Mason for specific gravity data on the 
Lake Torrens-Lake Eyre australites. Ms J. M. Wearne 
drafted Figures 1-4. Mr M. K. Quarterrnaine proc- 
essed my photographs used in Figure 5. 

Rr:i-i;Ri : .Ncr-s 

BAKER, G. 1962. Volumenbe/iehungen von wohlerhal- 

tenen Australit-Knopfen, -Linscn und -Kernen /u ihren 

primaren Formen. Chem. der Erde 21 : 269-320. 

1976. Occurrence, distribution and age of Australian 

teklites. Srnithson, Contrih. Earth Sci. 17; 46 pp. 

1964. Population polygons of lektile specific- gravity lor 

various localities in Australasia. Geochim. Cosmochtm. 

Acta 28: 821-839 
CLEVERLY, W. H. 1974. Australites of mass greater than 

100 grams from Western Australia../. R.Soc. W. Aust. 51: 

CLEVERLY, W. H. 1977. Folded australite bowl from Port 

Camphell district, Victoria, Australia. Mem. Nat. Mas. 

Vic. 38: 255-259. 
CLEVERLY, W.H. 1979. Morphology of small australites 

from the Eastern Goldfields, Western Australia../. A*. Soc. 

W. Aunt. 61: 119-130. 
CLEVERLY, W.H. 1981. Further large australites from 

Western Australia. Rec\ W. Aust. Mus. 9: 101-109. 
CLEVERLY, W. H. 1986. Australites from Hampton Hill 

Station, Western Australia../, R. Soc. W. Aust. 68: 81-93. 
CLEVERLY. W.H. 1987. Morphology of a remarkably well 

preserved australite found near Ravensthorpe. Western 

Australia. Rec. W. Aust. Mus. 13: 327-335. 
CLEVERLY, W. H. & SCRYMGOUR, J. M. 1978. Austral- 
ites of mass greater than 100 grams from South Australia 

and adjoining slates. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 17: 321-330. 
FENNER, C. 1940. Australites, part IV - The John Kennett 

collection with notes on Darwin glass, bediasites, etc. 

Trans R Soc, S. Aust. 64: 305-324. 
SCRYMGOUR, J. M. 1978. Three large australites from 

South and Western Australia. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 1 7:331- 

SUMMERS, H. S. 1913. On the composition and origin of 

australites. Report of the Australasian Association for the 

Advancement of Science 14: 189-199. 










•/Charlotte Waters 


•/ tna 

r (ruin 


Abminga* G ^ o y r | a #Mt. Dare H.S. 

,12 Mile Dam 

Eringa H.S. 


Blood's Creek 

& (abandoned ) 


(abandoned ) 

a — I i i 


150 km 


FIGURE 1. Map of country adjoining the Northern 
Territory /South Australian border showing provenances of 
the Finke and Kennetl australite collections. Finke and 
Abminga (open circles) were stations on the now abandoned 
Central Australian Railway. 

238 2-40 242 244 246 2 48 2-50 


FIGURE 3. Semi-logarithmic plot of mass against specific 
gravity for a sample of 202 australites from the vicinity of 
Finke less five points in the lower mass range closely coinci- 
dent with others. The open circles represent 27 additional 
specimens weighing more than 1 1 g each which are not part 
of the random sample. The broken lines are an interpretation 
of the distribution. 


FIGURE 2. Frequency polygons of specific gravity for 
australites. Filled circles - sample of 202 from vicinity of 
Finke. Open circles-420 from Charlotte Waters region (from 
Chapman etui. 1964 Fig. 7). Dots -761 from Lake Torrens 
- Lake Eyre region (adapted from Chalmers et aL 1 976 Fig. 
15). Open squares -46 specimens each weighing more than 
1 1 g from vicinity of Finke. 


2 76 

FIGURE 4. A. Side view of folded bowl T1346 with 
restored cross-sectional shape of bowl (broken line) within it. 
B. End view of folded bowl Tl 346 and restored pre-folding 
shape (broken line). C. Cross-section of button T131 1 with 
restoration of spherical primary body (broken line) and 
profile of anterior surface when flange-building commenced 
(dotted line). Figures are volumes of various parts in cubic 



r ,- 'mm 


ft* (*%. 

FIGURE 9 AuM/aliirs (rum itic ffnUtlU uf Finke, NT. In «de v«*w>, <Jirtiil»»i nf flight is towards hi>tlt.iit .it |i«if< 

A Folded round n sligudy oval buwl.ll J4ft, 1 1,3 mm long- A I PoMcrlot vww, »* num.* p..l» slrra* iilun K lite ninlille k the hiied Union hrtwcfti the >'dr» Al Side **W TOW *»* iffAJ I 
At fcnd View incht-haiid end m( A I k, A4 Same side view <w A2 hut intrmismitU'd llllN Nmtnw area near lip* ullwaieauf liucd. contact. 

B. Biitlon.fnil.20,5nuri diameu-i Bl- Pnsien.jrv.ew .Hi, V.ewslifihtly oblique viol.* e showing Wi-hiiiMiwlhctk*in..w .t-lyc. W. VlewvotyoblJi|iK-lounfWl«f vurtluc ^''*'»<»1 
some ul the radial secondary urhlieretl, 

C Button.? 111 4, 23.6 - 24.7 mm <iilin*Kr. r»»Metmr view. 

D Button, T13OT.21 S mni diameter. *lde view iIhiwihr mil m flange Inwards upper nuhl *M loin hole below H. 

E Buitoii Tl «» 20J nun wnle. fcl , fWteriof Hew showing lack «f llmjfr ui n..e suit. E 2 Sole v.ew l....fcii.|t into Ik- flJinoe yap and nhtWina cmimirily of flnw nriwr-. around trie gap 

F. Roundindk«.)rl,Tri75,35.hmm«eroM.II ^«.^criv^rv^e**howmglimnHII<lngerct....«. ! al.^bl F2 Sidtv.ew«rt nAnfrowdar^-ihclUtrigm W,rAnwilvi 1 .w*imwtngtimwhM 

G* Tiurd'».la-8h>rri.TI375.- 1 ls1.4itimlo»K ni.Piisie.iiirv.ew *^remn.iAHorMr«vi*lKlUwimdnBm»wciviii|vlM..w.lji(i4ri w.lh shtio lenglli ..( bull ot tlnnac. <T2. Side view *huwi|i|i 
flow . idges in «aisss shell. QV Front view with flow ri<!|»c*i OB Mftss *>hell ahovc and nl nahl 

H lUlBd' m 'beaked* wire. 7 1 5K9. 153 mm across. HI Side vn-w H2. View -hi,.,.!. tf> frnll wrfarew ompfmsi/c the beak 

J Round indicator!. 7/13(5, 23.7 mm wnte.Jl, Rear view shying large remnant nl flange. 12 J»id« vww 

K. Fragment of hollow i«c, T140Z.34J mm high- 

L Broad Oval cote, TT 3H«». 24,6 mm Mir. rear view shnwuiv: How swill 

M_ Namiw oval mre.Tl-1K9. )5 J mm long;, teui view. 

N. "Small' round uw. T 1 W. 1 7.5 mm diameter, tide view 



TABLE I. Morphological classification and masses of australites from vicinity of Finke. N.T. 

Shape type 

Number of specimens 

Masses of complete speci 

mens, g 














Round Bowl 






Round indicator J 














Round indicator II 







Round Core 





3 1 .40 


Broad oval canoe 





Broad ocal indicator I 







Broad oval lens 


1 1 





Broad oval indicator II 






Broad oval core 







Narrow oval plate 







Narrow oval canoe 







Narrow oval indicator I 







Narrow oval lens 







Narrow oval indicator II 







Narrow oval core 














Boat-indicator 1 





















Dumbbell-indicator I 














Dumbbell-indicator fl 







Dumbbell core 







Teardrop- lens 







Teardrop-indicator 11 











Conical core 





















Flakes and tlaked cores* 



'Core' as used by the anthropologist, 



TABLE 2. Comparison between australites from the vicinity of Finke, N.T., and Edjudina Station, W.A. 




Station, W.A. 

Complete or essentially so % 



Incomplete but classifiable % 



Total classifiable % 



Fragments % 



Flakes and flaked cores % 



Round forms % 



Broad oval forms % 



Narrow oval forms % 



Boat forms % 



Dumbbell forms % 



Teardrop forms % 



Flanged, disc, plate, bowl and canoe forms % 



Indicators I % 



Lens forms % 



Indicators II % 



Cores % 



Cores/lens forms 



Number of complete australites 



Mean mass of above (g) 



Total number of specimens 



Mean mass of all specimens (g) 




by Isobel White 


This brief paper describes fighting at Yalata, an aboriginal community in the far south-west of 
South Australia and compares this favourably with the uncontrolled aggression and violence in 
western society. 




WHITE, I. M 1988. Fighting in an Aboriginal Community. Rev. S. Aust. Mas. 11 (I): 49-51 . 

This brief paper describes fighting at Yalata, an aboriginal community in the far south-west of South 
Australia and compares this favourably with the uncontrolled aggression and violence in western society. 

1. M. White, Department of Anthropology. Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National Uni- 
versity, GPO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601. Manuscript received 7 April 1986. Revised manuscript 
received 15 October 1987. 

Every newspaper today carries reports of deaths and 
grave injuries caused by terrorism, violence and ag- 
gression, covering a whole range of brutality, from the 
bashing of harmless old women, to bombing of build- 
ings, to full-scale war. These reports come from the so- 
called civilised world of Europe, the Middle East and 
the Americas. Moreover a rash of violence has broken 
out on the sports field, even in Australia. All this has 
made me reconsider the instances of aggression and 
violence I witnessed in a remote Aboriginal comm- 
unity nearly twenty years ago. This shocked me at the 
lime but more recently I have come to the conclusion 
that the Aboriginal anger and antagonism I witnessed 
were mild compared with what is in the news today, 
that the amount of bodily injury was strictly controlled 
and that after an episode of violence, aggression was 
quiescent for some time. Consciously or uncon- 
sciously Aborigines had so ordered their outbreaks of 
aggression and violence that death and injury were 
controlled and minimised. This is unlike what happens 
in the western world where perpetrators of violence, 
even in time of so-called peace, take little account of 
the amount of death and injury they cause, or whether 
their victims are those responsible for the original con- 

Yalata is an Aboriginal community situated in mal- 
lee, western myall and melaleuca scrub on the coastal 
strip between the head of the Great Australian Bight 
and the Nullarbor Plain in the far west of South 

The i nhabi tants are Western Desert people who first 
came south to the newly constructed railway line in the 
1 920s and 1930s. Most congregated during the 1930s 
and 1940s around the United Aboriginal Mission 
(U.A.M.) at Ooldea and were induced to move even 
further south in the early 1950s to Yalata Lutheran 
Mission after the U.A.M. withdrew quite suddenly 
from Ooldea (White 1985: 222-223). They were pre- 
vented from returning to their own territory during the 
period of nuclear weapons experiments at Maralinga 
and Woomera (Brady 1987). The new Yalata Abor- 
iginal Reserve was outside their own territory and 
when I visited them they still felt displaced and land- 

less (White 1985: 226); but they had become economi- 
cally dependent on European-Australian's (White 

At the same time they maintained their language 
(Pitjantjatjara and other Western Desert dialects) and 
much of their traditional culture, including some of 
their ceremonial life. Boys were initiated, though 1 was 
told that the rituals were abbreviated, for example, the 
period of seclusion only lasted a few weeks. While the 
initiation ceremonies still included the bestowal of a 
daughter by the circumciser, the promise was not 
always fulfilled, leading to some of the fighting des- 
cribed below. A rain ceremony was performed each 
year (White 1979). For my benefit the women per- 
formed a number of their secret ceremonies with great 
enthusiasm (White 1975: 132-133) but they were not 
teaching these to the girls in the old manner and they 
admitted they did not perform them in my absence. 
When 1 last paid a visit to Yalata in 1 98 1 my friends 
told me that their last performance was the one 1 saw 
in 1973. 

The descriptions of fighting in this paper are based 
on my experience during fieldwork at intervals be- 
tween 1 969 and 1 973, each visit lasting between three 
weeks and two months. 

I am not considering here the killings that occurred 
in this community following breaches of the laws 
against sacrilege. I know little of the events behind 
such deaths, which fall into quite a different category 
from the open brawling whose origin normally lay in 
disputes over marriages, betrothals and adultery, en- 
tirely secular matters. T.G.H. Strehlow (1970: 112- 
122) while describing punishment involving many 
deaths in Central Australia for sacrilege of various 
kinds, emphasises that these were quite different from 
personal quarrels arising from such matters as marital 
disputes. These personal quarrels would be settled by 
the persons involved with the help of their kin. Though 
some bodily injuries were tolerated killing should not 
occur, except that the Aranda punishment was death 
for incest between a man and his mother-in-law and for 
the seduction of the wife of an important ritual leader. 

Before I first pitched my tent in the *big camp'. 



about I 5 km Irorn the mission headquarters* the white 
mission staff at Yalata warned me that 'the Aborigines 
were always brawling* and that I would find these 
brawls* noisy and alarming. I admit I was at first 
It iw htened when loud quarrelling broke out a week or 
two later But I soon found that I was not in die least 
threatened and dial I might as well observe whai was 
happening. At this and later incidents I noted particu- 
larly that these conflicts lollowed a fairly regular pal 
tern and thai noise far outran action. Injuries weie 
limited and seldom serious and when one or other of 
the protagonists was hurt the fighting normally ceased 
at once, though there might he some incidental quar 
rels and injuries in other purls ol the camp. Similarly 
tn ditfse peripheral quarrels actu>u stopped as soon as 
any injury occurred. Unfortunately some of the- rules 
went by the board if die contestants were drunk, so thai 
serious sometimes fatal, injury resulted, though ( did 
no! witness such an event. Moreover when rJicfc were 
drunken people liboui there might be danger involved 
k> non-pat tieipauts. Care was always taken to keep out 
of the way of such irresponsible individuals On one 
suck occasion die adult wotnen of *my family \ melu 
ding myself, picked up toddlers and babies in order to 
be ready to evacuate the family campsite. 

These events seemed to me equivalent to a weekly 
visit to the movies or to a sporting fixture in our 
society, and certainly less dangcrou> than some sport- 
tug events have become. Jusl as Hie amount of alcohol 
available, increases the. danger al football and dicker 
matches, so die danger increased with die amount ol 
alcohol available in the camp, where there were no 
police present to attempt control and perhaps to be 
•nmeinetargci of all spectators Toan outsider life in 
Cie camp at an Aboriginal settlement may seem radtei 
dull for the inhabitants and these fights certainly li- 
vened up die daily round and were a matter tot excited 
discussion hn many days afterwards 

Tlie standard older of events was as follows: loud 
shouting woidd be heard from one part nf the campand 
roost of die inhabitants would tush to the scene as sup 
porters of the contestants or as observers. Visually 
those supporters who fell themselves involved in the 
dispute would take oft their clothes, the main combat- 
ants having already done so. For example, w licit an old 
cotipk near rue heard die raised voices of their 
daughter and son-in-law they immediately hurried 
towards Uie contest taking oil their dollies and throw 
mg litem aside as they ran, Ilach adult man would pick 
up his spears and spearthrower in his left hand and his 
fighting boomerang in hts right, mute as a gesture of 
strength and alertness than with any intent to use them 

It seems there were rules about the choice of weap- 
on*. Sometimes the protagonists would have spears 
ami spearthrowers or perhaps knives but when 1 wit- 
nessed a quarrel between two brothers (same father. 
dilierenL moUiers) they had no weapons ai all but 

merely wrestled. Where spears, or knives, were used, 
skill was needed so thai the wound was in the fleshy 
pan of the thigh and did not cause too much bleeding. 
For such an injury men did not always go to the mission 
nurse. They were proud of their scars, which would 
have been less obvious it skilfully stitched. The only 
wound of this kind I actually saw at close quarters (I 
dfOYC the injured woman to the mission lor treatment) 
was in the thijjb of the daughter mentioned above, 
indicted with a knife by her disappointed lover when 
he realised she was returning to her much older hus- 
band. Her wound was deep and painful but not danger 
ous. This particular dispute broke out into violence or 
near violence at intervals over several days. Some 
hours after this knifing, there- was another hour of 
shouting and abuse between the lover and members ol 
the woman's kin anil aftines. Then the iHgmQl' of the 
camp moved in oil him with tacit weapons ai the read} 
(as I describe later) bul instead of obeying them and 
ceasing to threaten violence he produced a rifle and 
threatened them By now it was very late at night and 
all retired to their own camps, but in the morning the 
tables were turned on the young man when two police- 
men arrived from Ccduna and arrested him. I was told 
that the camp leaders had taken Ihe unusual step of 
asking the mission supctintcndcni to send tot the 
police, because the young man had behaved ip a way 
they could not counter, in producing a rille. Nlurvnver 
this was not the first time he had seduced a woman of 
their community: a year before he liad ctoped with a 
much younger unmarried girl and had managed to 
travel on a train to Kalgoorl ie with her, before her mate 
kin caught up with them and managed to bring her 

The above account represents an unusual series .if 
events and I now return to the more normal processes 
of a camp light. When fighting first broke out it was 
interesting to observe rhc behaviour of the children. 
Clearly they knew they must not join in the ring of oh 
servers, either because of instruction from their par- 
ents, or because they were too frightened by Ihe noise 
of quarrelling. ( am not sure at what age diey could join 
in. I only knew that when I observed these scenes all 
children between the ages of about five and fifteen 
immediately gadiered in small groups and retired to 
the outer periphery of the camp where they lit their 
own small fires and stayed until the noise and shouting 
died down. In the meantime, as 1 have already de- 
scribed, the Adult women stayed close by babies and 
toddlers, ready to pick them up if ihey felt then* might 
be danger. 

Margaret Bain, who has lived for many years with 
Pitjantjatjara speaking communities, toid me that by 
carrying a child, a man or a woman signalled thai he or 
she was not involved in the. quarrel. I have never heard 
of a child being injured in these brawls, certainly not 
by intention, and not by accident because of measures 
taken bv hotn adults and children. 



While the original contestants were shouting at each 
other and preparing for action, subsidiary quarrels 
would be disinterred so that it soon sounded as though 
everyone was shouting loudly. This made the dogs 
bark and howl frantically and the noise was quite 
deafening. (1 made a tape-recording of one such epi- 
sode.) The original dispute was likely to concern, im- 
mediately or marginally, a proportion of the inhabi- 
tants. Here is an example: the two brothers who 
wrestled together were fighting over a woman. Mean- 
while their old blind father was begging them to desist, 
claiming it was not proper for brother to fight brother. 
The older of the two brothers had been deprived of his 
promised wife some years before because the girl was 
supported by her mother in her preference for another 
man. (For this the mother had been speared by the 
disappointed young man.) Now the mother of the 
younger brother resurrected the dispute and loudly ac- 
cused the mother of the girl of causing the present 
fight, because her son would not now have been 
fighting his brother about a woman if that girl had been 
given to her proper husband in the first place. I knew 
both these two older women well; they had cooperated 
in the performance of women's ceremonies and I had 
not suspected that the old dispute was still an issue be- 
tween them. 

The main fight was the pretext for many other old 
conflicts to be revived and for old disagreements to be 
aired very loudly. There was even a resurgence of ri- 
valry between the two dominant groups in the camp, 
the Pitjantjatjara and the Yankunljatjara, normally 
almost indistinguishable after two or three generations 
of living together and intermarrying; now each ac- 
cused the other of horrible customs. Another reason 
for further quarrels to break out in various parts of the 
camp was that some of the shouting consisted of sexual 
boasting by one of the men, whom I had recognised as 
a local Don Juan. Since these boastings were likely to 
involve married women within hearing, several new 
quarrels would break out between these and their 
husbands, or between the husbands and the boaster. In 
the end it seemed that half the people were shouting 
abuse at the other half, at the tops of their voices. 

This would go on for an hour or two, by which time 
there would be a small number of minor injuries. One 
or other of the original protagonists might have been 
hurt so that that particular fight would have ceased. But 
by now everyone would be tired and mothers would 
complain that their children should be allowed to 
sleep. Eventually the senior men, the 'big men' of the 
community, would intervene. Each in turn would put 
brushwood on his fire so that it would send flames 
several feet into the air and he would stand in front of 
it for all to see. He would first proclaim on the rights 
and wrongs of the main quarrel. He would then say 
something to the effect that the young men must stop 
fighting now, they had had their chance to settle their 
disturbances, they had caused a lot of noise and distur- 

bance but now everyone had had enough and it was 
time to stop. In turn several of these older men would 
repeat this performance. With their weapons in their 
hands they would then move in a circle against those 
still fighting, thus showing the power of the leaders 
against the younger men. Quickly the noise would 
cease, people returned to their own camps and soon all 
would be asleep. 

In the morning there might be a few with headaches 
or in pain from injury, but there would be peace in the 
camp and the contestants from the previous night 
would seem to have resolved their quarrels. Certainly 
all the furore had had a cathartic effect. It had been 
salutary to have had all the dissension out in the open 
and for once to tell one's neighbours exactly what one 
thought of them. All the evil remarks and accusations 
seemed to have been forgotten, though they might be 
apretext for a later conflict. Aggression was limited to 
a few hours at intervals of some weeks. Occasionally, 
in the middle of the night, the silence would be broken 
by a man voicing his grievances and shouting abuse at 
some other person. The rest of the time in my observa- 
tion these Western Desert people behaved in a quiet, 
restrained and dignified manner. Conversations were 
carried on in low voices and shouting was seldom 
heard. Even against misbehaving children voices were 
not raised. The chief noise in the camp was of dogs 
barking rather than of human voices. 


BRADY, M.1987. Leaving the spinifex; the impact of 
rations, missions and the atomic tests on the Southern 
Pijantjatjara. Ret. S. Aust. Mus. 20: 35-45. 

STREHLOW, T.G.H. 1970. Geography and the totemic land 
scape in Central Australia. In R,M. Bemdt (Ed.). 'Austra- 
lian Aboriginal Anthropology'. Pp. 92- 1 40. University of 
Western Australia Press, Perth. 

WHITE, l.M. 1975. Sexual conquest and submission in the 
myths of Central Australia. /nL.R.Hiatt (Ed.). 'Australian 
Aboriginal Mythology', Pp. 123-142. Australian Institute 
of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. 

WHITE, l.M. 1979. Rain ceremony at Yalata. Canberra 
Anthropology 2, No.2: 94-103. 

WHITE, l.M. 1985. Mangkatina: woman of the desert. I. 
White, D. Barwick & B. Meehan (Eds.). 'Fighters and 
Singers', Pp. 2 J 5-226. Allen & Unwin, Sydney. 



byE. Williams 


This paper presents the results of the first season of fieldwork of an archaeological study of the 
Cooper Basin near Innamincka, South Australia. 




WILLIAMS, E. 1988. The archaeology of the Cooper Basin: report on fieldwork. Rec. S, Aust. Mas, 
22(1): 53-62. 

This paper presents the results of the first season of fieldwork of an archaeological study of the 
Cooper Basin near Innamincka, South Australia. 

E. Williams, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National Uni- 
versity, GPO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601. Manuscript received 29 July 1987. 

Australia is adry continent — 60% of its land surface 
is covered in arid vegetation while a further 22% is 
covered in semi-arid species (Williams 1979, V.I. Fig. 
1 ). In the past at the height of the last glaciation, an even 
greater proportion of the continent lay within the arid 
zone (Bowler 1982). Yet until recently, little archaeo- 
logical research was carried out in arid Australia, 
despite the importance of the region to questions about 
the colonisation of the continent. The work which has 
been carried out suggests that a number of areas within 
what is now the arid zone, were occupied during the 
Pleistocene. Dates of 20 000 years BP and older come 
from sites in the Hamersley Plateau, north-western 
W.A. (Maynard 1980. Brown 1987); the Cleland Hills, 
central western N.T. (Smith 1987); Koonalda Cave, 
southern S. A. (Wright 1 97 1 ); and Lake Yantara, north- 
western N.S.W. (Dury & Langford-Smith 1970). 
Whilst these sites show that much of the drier part of 
the continent was utilized during the Pleistocene, it ap- 
pears that the most intensive occupation took place 
during the mid to late Holocene (Gould 1977; Hughes 
& Lampert 1980; Lampert 1985; Smith 1983, 1987). 

Although much archaeological work has been un- 
dertaken recently in many parts of the arid zone, little 
was known about the archaeology of one area, the 
dunefields of north-eastern South Australia. This pro- 
ject was initiated to expand our knowledge of the 
region. The area chosen for study is that section of the 
Cooper Basin near Innamincka, South Australia (Fig. 
I). It comprises a number of features — the main 
Cooper channel, an ancillary channel — the North- 
west Branch, and an extensive series of clay-pan lakes 
in the Cooper flood-out zone lying within the 
Strzelecki dunefield. These lakes are the only ones 
which regularly fill with water for thousands of square 
kilometres. My particular focus is the lakes, since little 
is known about either the prehistoric occupation or the 
environmental history of these features. 

There are a number of reasons why this project can 
tell us more about the occupation of arid Australia. The 
first is that while the region is an extremely arid one — 
it receives one of the lowest rainfall readings of any in 

Australia ( 1 25 mm per annum) and is mostly covered 
by a large dunefield, the Strzelecki, there are reliable 
water resources there. This made the area an important 
one for Aboriginal settlement, at least in the recent past 
(Sturt 1849). The Cooper drains the Channel Country 
of central Queensland and every year the wet season 
rains come down the river, filling a succession of deep 
waterholes on the Cooper at Innamincka and then the 
Coongie lakes, 100 km to the north-west. The large 
waterholes on the Cooper and its overflow channel, the 
North-west Branch are permanent, while the lakes hold 
water from between five months to most of the year, 
depending on their location relative to the channel. 
While the abundant (albeit seasonal) water resources 
make this area atypical when compared to many parts 
of the arid zone, this region can tell us much about how 
people in the past dealt with fluctuations in water 
availability. This is because although there are large, 
reliable waterholes near Innamincka, there are few 
permanent water resources in the surrounding region. 
Early explorers such as Sturt ( 1 849) and Burke & Wills 
(1861) always retreated back to this stretch of the 
Cooper because of a lack of reliable water anywhere 
else — upstream or downstream. 

Even the upper reaches of the river contain very little 
standing water, much less than around Innamincka and 
the channel does not always flow (Gregory & Gregory 
1884: 205-206, Jones 1979). In order to reach the lakes 
and permanent waterholes, the initial colonisers would 
have had to push through extremely arid areas and 
would have thus needed to develop a flexible economic 
system which could deal with these variations in water 
availability. Such hydrological fluctuations have char- 
acterised the Cooper drainage basin for at least the last 
20 000 years. It was probably only prior to 30 000 yBP 
that there were abundant water resources throughout 
the region. 

The second reason why this area was chosen for 
study concerns the probability of finding Pleistocene 
archaeological material there. Wasson's work on the 
sedimentary and climatic history of the dunefields, 
which is described later, has shown that exposures of 



-M 141 00 

Major tracks 

■Minor tracks 


FIGURE 1. Locality map. 

Pleistocene sediments are common in these landforms 
and the region is thus a promising one in which to look 
for early sites. As well, his work provides a valuable 
framework in which to place work on the history of 
Aboriginal occupation. 

The major aim of the project is to obtain baseline 
archaeological data for the region and if possible, 
determine whether it was first settled during the Pleis- 
tocene. The question of the Pleistocene occupation of 
the arid zone is a contentious one. Bowdler (1977) 
believes that aridity was a major problem in the 
colonisation of Australia. She claims that the first 
settlement of the arid zone occurred quite late — 
around 1 2 000 yBP, after people had first colonised the 
coastline and then the major river systems. She be- 
lieves that once the coastline was settled, people then 
moved up the major river systems taking with them a 
specialised 'coastal' economy, expressed as a depend- 
ence on fish, shellfish and small mammals. She sug- 
gests that the move away from the major river systems 

and the development of a non-aquatic adaptation or 
'desert' economy only appears quite late, after about 
12 000 yBP and involves a shift from aquatic foods to 
the wide-scale and specialized exploitation of grass- 
seed and a dependence on larger mammals, especially 
macropods. It appears, however, that recent work in the 
Northern Territory refutes this model. An excavation 
of Puritjarra rockshelter in the Cleland Hills, has re- 
vealed an archaeological sequence extending back 22 
000 years (Smith 1987). This site is located in an 
extremely arid area, well away from major drainage 
systems, in a region which would have also been very 
dry throughout the late Pleistocene. Smith's work 
shows, therefore, that people were living in the core 
arid zone well before that predicted by Bowdler's 
model. Other research by Smith refutes further aspects 
of the model. His work on grindstone morphology 
shows, for example, that the intensive exploitation of 
seed plants did not take place until the late Holocence, 
which is much later than Bowdler predicted. This 



adaptation could therefore not have triggered the initial 
colonisation of arid areas (Smith I486). 

Smith's dala suggest that people had pushed into the 
arid core of the continent by at least 22 000 yBP It 
appears ihese early colonists had a fairly generalised 
economy, lacking fur example a specialised seed- 
grinding technology. While the development of the 
more delailed model awaits further publication of 
Smith's work, one aim of my project will be to look al 
!he issue of Pleistocene occupation as regards north- 
eastern South Australia. Is there evidence for Pleisto- 
cene occupation here and if so, what type of economy 
did the early colonists possess? 

As well as this interest in Pleistocene occupation 1 
have a number ol other aims. The first is to determine 
when the most intensive period of occupation took 
place — was it during the mid io late HoJocene period. 
as other work to the south, and in other regions has 
Shown (Hughes St Lampert 1980; Lampert 1985; 
Lampert & Hughes 1987; Smith 1983. 1987)? Sec- 
ondly, the information on prehistoric sites will be ulti- 
mately used tn form a number ol management propos- 
als tp protect the archaeological material from a num- 
ber pf threats including otl and gas exploration, pastor 
ali'sin and tourism. Here I will be working closely with 
die Aboriginal Heritage Branched' the South Australian 
Department Australian of Environment and Planning. 

The project is funded for three years and this paper 
reports on the results of this, the first field season 
Given the preliminary nature of the work, my data and 
conclusions will be fairly general. Before describing 
'he results of the field work, I will first provide an 
environmental context for the research by presenting 
below mlomiahon on the geography of die region and 
then on climtUie change. 

Environmi \i *j Srrr»\r. 

Th« icgion Mas a hot. dry. desert climate with short, 
ronhotoJd winters Rainfall is extremely low 1 1 25 turn 
per annum) and unreliable, while mean annual evapo- 
ration is very high (38)0 mm per annum;, There is no 
distinct seasonal pattern to the rauifall distribution. 

W itli in the region there arctwodlsimct land systems 
(haul rf a! 1977. Hughes & Lamport 19X0>. These ore 
briefly described here, because as I will outline later, 
tJlQ nature of »he archacn logical OTUtCliftl W&j Willi 
land system. 

i. Mrrninir Environmental As»uciulicin 

Tbiv !:»*.. ) .(..•.,, i,,-, )r , flit .jusiern rwnof thrsufcly 
area to ftt east <>t iRt VVtrcbrviJIc tnutft tFig. IJ li 
consists ufa tfcnliy undulminc. stony plain with low 
.sthnMecappcid tfSta Here die Ctmpct is .lonfmed 
within j UtfTCHtf fliHvJpUm urv.1 CdftytfttS a SCilts ol 
pein»ane:ii watcrholes n • Al InlOtttftfa 

long. East-west trending dunes have formed along the 
marginsofboth banks of the river and Hughes (Hughes 
& Lampert 1980) notes that they broadly resemble 
those of the Cooper flood-out zone to the west (sec 
below)- The vegetation in this land -system consists flf 
occasional stands of mulga (Aatcia aneura) and a 
sparse low shrubland of native fuchsia {Eremophila 
spp.) and dead finish (Acacia te/ragotiophvHai over 
tufted grasses such as saltbush [Atriplex spp.j and 
Mitchell grass (Astrehtapatinata). The Cooper chan- 
nel and floodplain 16 fringed by woodlands of river red 
gum [E. vamakinlensis), coohbah (E. muttrtheca) and 
eoohbah box (E\ infrnexia). 

Stony land-systems which have similar landforms 
and vegetation are also found in this general region and 
lie to the north-west, north and north-east of the study 
area. They are virtually identical to the Merninie 
landsystem and are therefore not described here. Motv 
information on them can be onuuued from Laut vt al 

ii. Cooper Creek Environmental Association 

This land-system covers most of the study area, 
lying to the west and north-west of fnnamincka. It 
comprises the Cooper Hood-out zone and consists of a 
field of parallel dunes and interconnected claypans pe- 
riodically flooded by Coopers Creek. A number of the 
larger claypans form lakes. Some of these, for example 
the Coongie Lakes system (Fig. 1 I are filled annualK 
by freshes of wateT which come down the Cooper front 
the Channel Country of northern and western Queen- 
sland- These lakes fill from an overflow channel of the 
Cooper, the North West Branch, but only one or two 
lakes hold water nil more than six months of die year 
Other lakes and claypans jnc Tilled either with the 
Cooper flood out. or by prolonged local precipitation 

The dunefield consists mostly of longitudinal Uimes 
which tTcnd north-south, Transverse dunes arc found 
on the northern (downwind) sides ol 
(Twidalc 1972. Waxson 1983). Both types of duiu-s are 
rich id clay wuh the clay occurring m sand*si^e aggrr 
grates or pellet* The vegetation on the dtthM and 
.uound the takes is vuiuiftlc. ranging from samphire 
iAtttitoirtcfmwi Sprj.l and chenopod shrubJaittte of old 
man Nallbusb to lignum iMuchk'ttUcita ntnrtinz 
humify ami eanegrass \£tagraxito iiu.urolfwra) The 
flondplains and ehannelsot the major river -yr-irm* a*e 
hinged by the same tree srvsi^A u* noted for the 
previous land-system i.e. .iwi ,. i gum, eooJihart*nd 


TV region lias not -always been t^vinxtmentallv 
stable and over time dicie have been ki^iuIhutii 
changes in tncelimak aiui laodt.y-n-.v Given the <aJe 
of these diatuw. ib*> wor-M tare loioublcU: 

fcetcd human u. -<.rviticin. and an: thtreln-. hnrri 




Environmental History 

The clay-rich linear and transverse dunes have been 
studied by Wasson and preserve a sediment record of 
climatic change in the region (Bowler & Wasson 1 984; 
Gardner et al 1987; Wasson 1984, 1986). The pres- 
ence of clay pellets suggests that the dunes were 
formed when muds and fine sands deposited by the 
Cooper were deflated from salinized swales. The 
floodplain sediment was derived from alluvium depos- 
ited directly by the Cooper or, where areas were cut off 
from a direct supply of flood sediment, from saline 
groundwater-controlled deflation. The pellelization of 
the clays requires the salinisation of sediments and this 
occurs in a regime of fluctuating saline groundwater. 
As well as this mode of formation there is now recent 
evidence which suggests that clay pellet formation can 
occur without salts as long as there is a supply of fresh 
alluvium (Gardener el al. 1987). 

The dunes contain four main stratigraphic units. The 
uppermost is a modern mobile aeolian sand, mostly 
quartzose with rounded clay pellets. Below this is a unit 
which also comprises quartzose sand and clay pellets 
and is late Holocene in age. The next unit has a similar 
composition of quartzose sand and clay pellets and as 
well has some carbonate formation and was deposited 
between 1 3 000 and 23 000 yBP. The lowermost unit 
also contains quartzose sand and clay pellets but is also 
slightly reddened and has pronounced carbonate for- 
mation. Thermoluminescencc dating of this unit sug- 
gests it may have been deposited as long ago as 240 000 
yBP (Gardner era/. 1987). Analysis of these sediments 
and of other features in the regions and in other areas 
gives the following environmental sequence beginning 
with the late Pleistocene (Bowler & Wasson 1983; 
Wasson 1994, 1986). 

About 50 000 years ago lakes in the southern half of 
Australia were noticeably expanded. At this time also 
the Cooper was depositing predominantly sandy allu- 
vium in contrast to the muds and sills it deposits today. 
This suggests the river was discharging water al an 
increased velocity relative to the present and could 
indicate a greater discharge overall. If this was ihe case 
then it is probable that the lakes in ihe study area, like 
those in southern Australia, were also noticeably 

The lakes in southern Australia remained full for 
some time although after about 30 000 yBP there was 
some oscillation in lake levels. This lasted until around 
22 000 yBP when the lakes began lo dry up. About this 
time too, the Cooper ceased depositing predominantly 
sandy alluvium and began depositing a mixture of 
sand, silt and clay, indicating a decrease in stream 
velocity. The presence of the clays in the floodplain 
sediment initiated the period of clay pellet formation in 
the swales between the dunes. During this time a major 
phase of dune building began and continued until the 
terminal Pleistocene. The most intensive periods of 

sediment mobilistion took place between 16 000 and 
20 000 yBP at the height of the last glaciation. Dune 
building was triggered by a combination of factors: an 
increase in wind speed, radiant summer energy and 
pressure gradients, and a decrease in humidity. These 
also induced a lowering of the water table, increasing 
the salinization of the clay-rich floodplain sediments. 

At around 12 500 yBP there was another significant 
climatic shift in the region when frequent flooding of 
the outer areas of the Cooper floodplain ceased. This 
removed most ofthe sediment available for dune build- 
ing and the dunes ceased accumulating sediment. Dune 
building began again in the late Holocene, although on 
a smaller scale than in the late Pleistocene. This event 
mostly involved a reworking of older dune units and 
there does not seem to have been a return lo the climatic 
conditions of the last glaciation. Wasson believes that 
this mobilisation of sediment is linked to shifts in 
climate, reflected by falling lake levels in eastern 
Australia. He also outlines the possibility that it may be 
related lo a more intensive occupation of the region by 
Aboriginal groups through the firing of vegetation for 
example, but notes that there is insufficient evidence lo 
look at this hypothesis at present (Wasson 1986). 

The data presented above show that the region has 
undergone significant climatic change in the last 
50 000 years. This has undoubtedly affected Aborigi- 
nal occupation of the area and I will be focusing on this 
issue by looking at the occupation history of the lake 
systems. As I will show below (by citing historical 
accounts of Aborigines), the lakes were an important 
focus for settlement. An analysis of the archaeology of 
these areas can not only provide information on prehis- 
toric occupation but, as well, data on climatic change, 
through the study of the sedimentary history of dunes 
associated with the lakes. As well, information derived 
from the latler work can be compared with Wasson's 
chronology derived from his work on the dunelield. 

Before presenting the results of the survey work, I 
will first put the data within an ethnographic context, 
by briefly summarizing the historical accounts of Abo- 
riginal subsistence and settlement patterns for the re- 

Historical Accounts of Aboriginal 
Subsistence and Settlement 

H i storical records show that the Cooper and its asso- 
ciated lakes were the main focus of settlement in the 
region (Sturt 1849, Burke & Wills 1861, McKinlay 
1862). These areas were densely populated. Sturt saw 
a camp of between 300 to 400 people about 50 km east 
of Nappa Merrie station in Queensland (1849: II, 
75-79). North of Innamincka. around the Coongie 
lakes, McKinlay saw over 300 people at Hamilton 
Creek, 200-300 people along the North West Branch 
of The Cooper just south of Coongie and at least 150 



people around the Lake Lady Blanche (1862: 37. 38. 
40). Must groups, however, were smaller than ihese 
large aggregations. Camps ol between 20 awl 40 people 
were common and some settlements seemed to have 
hecn occupied on a semi-permanent basis (Slui t 1840. 
Burke & Wills 1861, McKinlay 1862), Huts at these 
camps were substantial domed structures (Homo & 
Alston 192 1). 

The main food consumed in The vicinity of the lakes 
and river country was fish and mussels, water buds and 
naidoo {Mutsrfca spp.ka small clover-type plant thai 
grows on lloodllals. The sandhill country was also 
utdi/cd. and as Junes 1 19791 has shown, was more 
productive than the lakes and rivers as regards food 
plains and small niarmnak Staples obtained from the 
dune fields comprised a wide varietv ol seed plants. 
especially native millei yPanttvm dt*tm\pi\inm) and 
Muriyeroo' [Portulaca spp.k and mots and tubers. 
especially 'yt&uf (probably Impunuuut sp.) (lones 
|^79i Kcrwm & Brecn 198 I ), .Snakes. otheT reptiles, 
and many species i rf smaJt mammals were used as food 

Jones 1 1 979> has studied ttu Insn.ncal material and 
Inc. developed a model of suhsrslencc and sctllcment 
patterns which is supported by the available historical 
evidence- Me shows thai wtutc people mostly lived 
. \tm to the major water sources, alter rain, groups 
pushed out imolhcduncficldaU/expIoil theplant foods 
which had germinated and to obtain the grubs, reptiles 
and small mammals which were abundant here. As the 
-urliice water in claypans hetwee-n the dunes began io 
dry Up. people moved back on 10 thee reeks, rivers and 
lakes io harvest the plants such as Fnnhum and nardoo 
now ripening on the floodplain. As well as this pattern 
of seasonal movement, Jones ohsrrvcs that some 
groups remained on the lake and nvei throughout the 
year. In these areas there were sufficient resources to 
support semi-petmanentsetdemcnite.g. King in Burke 
& Wills i 861 », Jones also found tha' the stony country 
contained significantly fewer food resources than other 
land -systems and was not a lavoured area for scltle- 
mciiMe.g. Sum 1849; ll,43i. 

From this brief overview of the historical material 
we caii hypothesize thai the largest sites will be found 
in areas winch have permanent or semi permanent 
water sources, Surface campsite rnalenal will be found 
in (he dunefields but sites will be smaller than those on 
the margins of lakes and permanent waierhoies. 

These ideas, a Ion" with those concerning Pleisto- 
cene occupation, are discussed in the light of fie Id data 
in the following BOCKfQfl, The results of previous work 
in the region are discussed first. 

Prfv ions Arch At on (QIC uRnstiAKOt 


The previous w«»rk in the icgion lias comprised 
short-term studies of small areas- as pan of environ- 

mental consultancy projects iHiscock 1984. Hughes 
1983, Lance & Hughes 1983) and 'reconnaissance' 
trips to appraise the archaeological potential of a region 
(Hughes &Lampertl9K0,Lampert 1985). Almost all 
surveys were restricted to the region south of my study 
area, to the dunes and the main Cooper channel and 
little work was carried oiii on the lake Although none 
of this work has involved long-term studies and it did 
not look at the lake systems, sufficient surveys have 
been done to isolate some trends in site type and 
distribution. These are outlined below. 

The survey found that sites are common in the region 
and that site type varies with land-system and environ 
mental context. Quarries, stone arrangements and en- 
graving sites are restricted to the stony country i e the 
Merntnie land-system. General artefact scatters, shell 
middens and burial sites are found in both the stony 
country and the Cooper flood-out zone, but shell mid- 
dens are restricted to the margins ol lakes and pemta 
nent waierhoies of the main stream and over channels. 
General artefact scatters were found In be the most 
common site type m the region. 

As regards the age of sites, it was found that mosl 
sites dated (on typological grounds) to the mid to late 
Motocene Pleistocene sites are extremely rare, at least 
in the dunefjetd and around the main Cooper channel. 
The only Pleistocene site found is an Aboriginal hearth, 
site MSN* dated by Wesson (1983), The hearth lirs in 
the middle of the duncficld, about 270 km south-west 
of Innammckn and 90 km west of Str/eletki creek Two 
dates have been obtained - 13 850 t 190 yBP (AN LI 
2278) and |? l50±8_WyBP(.ANL 1279) Because of 
the rarity of Pleistocene sites in the region, Lamperi 
( 1985) has hypothesized that the region was not settled 
on any permanent basis until the laic Huloeene and thai 
any Pleistocene material found resulted from occa- 
sional trips made by the prehistoric inhabitants to the 
region from better watered areas to the south wc-- 
such xs the Flinders Ranges (see also Lam pen $ 
Hughes MB7). 

Does Ibis patterning oi archaeological material also 
apply to die lake systems'? in ilie following section I 
present my data for the lakes and conclude with a 
discussion on this issue in the light of my findings. 

FltLO Wokk 

Preliminary Work 

The study area is very remote and there are logistic 
problems m miming Geld work there. Foi this, my first 
field season, 1 concentrated therefore on a relatively 
accessible area — uV lakes around and including 
Coonglc. I began planning my field work by first 
examining colour aerial photographs of the region 
(Fig. 2) Using these I isolated features relevant to (he 
archaeology of the area and these Lire discussed below. 



The photos showed that some fakes (Coongtc. Mar 
roocoolcannie. Marrooeutchanie and Toontoowaran- 
nie) fill on a regular basis while others (Apaehirie and 
Mitkaealdratillic) do not. Although the last two lakes 
do not consistently hold wafer now, they do however 
have lake-shore features and thus regularly filled some 
time in the past. As well as this difference in water 
levels today, there is a distinction between these two 
groups of lakes in regard to a particular type of dune 
feature. On the lakes in Lhe first group there is a pale 
coloured dune or series of dunes, trending north-west 
to south-east, which lies on the north-east margin of the 
flood-out yonc of each lake. These features arc absent 

on the last two Jakes noted above. The dunes range in 
orientation from 15" to 30° west of north, They appear 
to be transverse dunes or Twidale's Meeside mounds' 
1 1972: 85-86) and are similar to the lunettes or clay 
dunes of semi- arid regions. Such features are fonned 
when longshore drift transports debris to beaches or the 
lee shore of lakes. This sediment is men locally redis- 
tributed by the wind before being trapped by vegetation 
close to the lake margin. The reasons for their presence 
on lakes in the first but not the second group is unclear, 
but is possibly linked to higher water levels some time 
in the past. As well, mere arc a series of these dunes 
within the flood-out /one between Toontoowarannie 

■ ' • i ' ' ' , ' 

■■ \ - , I 

- ■ . ■ ■■■..■ 

■■■ *- ■ - - 

1 2 


Flood -out *on* ^y Pale <| e «ide' dunes \ V Lonqiiudmal dune, 

FIGURE 2 Pan of the LWigic Lakt.% *£ the pale-coloured 'teeside' dunes. 



and t oongie. The mode of formation ol these features 
is unclear because they are not directly associated with 
the lake shore as are Ihe other dunes. A priori!) of the 
field work was ED examine both types of dunes to 
determine how and when they were formed ami 
w heiher they contain in situ Pleistocene archaeological 
material as do the lunettes of the Willandta and Darling 

As well as looking ai these pale dunes I examined 
exposures of Pleistocene sediments in the longitudinal 
cluiicfield. for in siru archaeological material. I also 
looked at sites generally around the lakes and creeks, to 
ohtain information cm site type and location 

Tltt Held surveys 

bi.luueand.ful) I <W> 1 made two trips to the Cooper 
horn a base m Broken Hill- The lime spenl m the field 
totalled five weeks. On both trips, work was curtailed 
because of heavy unscasonal rainfall but despite this 1 
managed lo obtain data relevant to the issues outlined 

During this field work I concentrated on gelling an 
overview of the archaeology of the lakes. I surveyed 
sections of five lakes (Coougie. Marroocoolcanme. 
Martooculefianie, ToonloowaraiUite and Goyderl and 
while 1 mainly concentrated on checking the pale dunes 
iI.m rihed earlier, I also looked at lake marquis where 
there were no pale dunes and also at some parts of the 
main longitudinal dune field. General comments abooi 
site type and distribution axe noted first, followed by a 
discussion of sites on the pale dunes 

In ,tl! areas surveyed I found that artefact density and 
site size increased as one approached permanent water 
sources. Site density was extremely low away from the 
takes ami nmjot river channels. Because of the large 
number of artefact scatter sites seen, I did not record 
every she and instead only noted either vet} large sites 
ot sues where 1 collected material fordalrng purposes. 
Roci ad cards for these sites arc held hy the Aboriginal 
Heritage Branch, South Australia. Artefact scatters 
wt-re the most common site type found and these 
comprised d Uqstfci of artefacts exposed as *t lag on 
dune blow-. tut',, where the more compacted Pleisto- 
cene sediment was exposed. 

On many siic.v freshwater mussel sht-0 was .iw.mi 
aled with the anetacl scullers, but ihis mMerial was 
re.sineied to those areas where pGfftaflCQl Of MttJJ- 
pcimunem water was present i.e. the large? lakes aiu! 
pemiaiietn waterboles no the ohltnwfa Iheie was 
some v in m ion in the quantity and dJHtiitwiion of fchcll 
i.-Uitivi. tpothci archaeological material. I found, I'm 
example mat |&ge midden sites. where shell &•!» 
dominant an Iiacolopcal material, weie icstneicd to 
areas whete natural mussel beds were particularly 
abundant t.i! die margins of lakes close lo intel chan 
ncls *M die edges of liUjB, peimanciu waiertiolcs. 
^riall waiters of shell, similar to Meehan's i!VX2t 
'dinnertime camps' avic scattered in^rmim-niK 

around the margins of the larger lakes and channels. 
Future work will look at these differences in dislribu 
tion in more detail. 

Irt virtually all cases the archaeological material was 
not in situ and had apparently deflated down from 
Holocene units, lypologically. most ; If not all ar 
tefacts, dated lo the mid to late Holocene. The main 
artefact types were tula ad/es and adze slugs, small 
scrapers, cores, flakes and fragments ol large, tlat 
sandstone grindstones of the type described by Smilh 
(1986). As well, largish, cube -shaped silcretc cobbles 
which were often ground on one or more surfaces were 
common. Cores and Hakes were small in size and 
noticeably reduced and this is probably due to the facl 
thai raw material sources lie some distance away (more 
than 50 km), in tbe stony country Occasionally larger 
t lakes and horse hoof cores were present. Favoured raw' 
materials were silcrete. ijuartzite. chert and chalced 
onv. Hearth material- usually fragments of burnt lei- 
mile mound, was often scattered across sites and occa 
sionally fragmented human bone was also found. Iso- 
lated hearths were also present Within the longitudinal 
dunefield proper, T saw only one site whcie material 
was not lying in the upper section of the laic Holocene 
unit. This is Ellar Creek 1 , which comprised a termite 
mound Iteanh in sint. lying near the base of the late 
Holocene unit. The hearth dates to 3080 ± 170 yBF 
tANLI 542K). 

As-noled curlier, sites increase in size and Ihe density 
ot material increased as sites became closer E0 penvia 
new water. At Typingime waterhole, for example, a 
permanent waterhole op an intermittent drainage line 
within the longitudinal dunelield, there was a higboi 
density of material, especially termite mound heat 
retainers, than on sues in rhc dunelield generally. I In* 
largest sites m the study area were found on ihe margins 
of the lakes c lose to either inlet or outlet creeks and on 
the edge of large, prrmancni walerholcs on Ihe mum 
watercourses. Especially large snes were found on the 
lakes near out let t reck 5 . I owa rds t he southern end ot the 
lakes. Site> of this type include Lake To. .ntoowarannu- 

sues I and 2. which compose 7000 square metres and 
10 OOOsquare mciresof shell midden respectively The 
archaeological material on these two sties is similar to 
that outlined earlier and d rn.MMcd ol liaumcnted mus- 
sel shell, artefacts, scattered heat retainers una ftmgr 
uumted burials As well, there were- the remains of a 
collapsed 'gunyah' on Ihe torrner site, Shells *md Ar- 
tefacts on these sites lie either within lute Holocerc 
sedimemai y units or are deflated down from Holoecnr 
Units to He MS float on t-xposed PIcisloceiie sediments. 
A sample ol shell fiom ffllS site h;i, vihmimM n.r 
diirinp, and dDt expected, to late Holocene .vW • ' 
yBP I ANL 5425 j Such lar^e and complex sites art riol 
imprTiant-c-ol the lakes to tic region. Tbeu presence is 

consistent With ih. >iiji>i population deptftfe .rh'-..ivdd 
by (he early exploierv 



Apart from these large sites, smaller scatters of 
artefacts, shells, hearth material and bone were found 
on the Hanks of the longitudinal dunes along the mar- 
gins of the lakes. These are larger than the sites found 
in the dunes away from the lakes. Examples of this type 
include Marroocoolcannie Sites 1 and 2. At the latter 
site there was also an area of burnt bone and shell. This 
material appears to be in situ and the bone, although not 
identified formally as yet, appears to be that offish and 
small mammal species. This is consistent with the 
enthno-historical data outlined earlier which identifies 
fish and small mammals as important food sources. At 
both sites most of the material was again deflating from 
Holocene units onto Pleistocene deposits. At Site 1, 
mussel shell which is in situ dates to 1020 ± 80 yBP 
(AN LI 5427) while at Site 2 a termite mound hearth 
dates to 1 130 ± 1 10 yBP (ANU 5429). 

As regards the pale-coloured dunes noted earlier, 
I surveyed exposures along the length of these dunes on 
Coongie, Marroolcoolcannie, Marroocutchanie, Mar- 
radibbadibba and in the floodplain between Toontoow- 
arannie and Coongie. With the exception of a site at 
Marradibbadibba — Lake Goyder I, I found that all 
archaeological material was deflating down from the 
upper, recent units. The sites were all similar and 
resembled the smaller lake-margin sites such as the 
Marroocoolcannie Sites 1 and 2 described above i.e. 
scatters containing artefacts, burnt termite mound and 
fragmented human bone. Shell midden material and 
large artefact scatters were scarce except for one large 
shell midden (Marrootcoochanie 1), on the north-west 
end of the Marroolcoolcannie dune, which in turn lies 
close to the inlet of Lake Marrootcoochanie. This is the 
only section of one of these white dunes which lies near 
the inlet channel of a lake. As well as general artefact 
scatters, a mounded burial (Browne Creek Burial Site) 
of the type described by Elkin ( 1 937) was found in an 
area of pale dunes between Toontoowarannie and 
Coongie. The relative lack of material on these dunes, 
except for where they are close to inlet channels, 
reinforces the trends in site patterning noted earlier for 
the lakes generally. Jt suggests that source-bordering 
dunes in this area were not especially favoured for 
occupation as such. Future work will explore this 
proposition further. 

The one site found within the lower part of one of the 
white dunes was Lake Goyder 1 and it lies within a 
white dune on the north-western margin of Lake Mar- 
radibbadibba. It is similar to the sites described earlier, 
with some exceptions. Heat retainer material is calcrele 
rather than termite mound and there is a burial and a 
small scoop hearth of burnt soil about 1 m across, lying 
within more consolidated sediments which are below 
what appears to be a recent unit. A sample of charcoal 
from the hearth is quite young, 810± 130 yBP (ANU 

It is difficult to determine the significance of this 
date, given that it is much younger than expected. It is 
possible the sample was contaminated, possibly by 
recent floodwaters. Air photos reveal that this locality 
was submerged for some time during the 1974 floods. 
While I am unable to resolve this problem, there are 
other clues to the age and origin of the white dunes. Soil 
samples taken from the pale dunes associated with the 
present lake shores of Marootcootchanie and Marra- 
dibbadibba (features between Coongie and Toontoow- 
arannie were not examined because of a lack of time), 
comprise sand rather than clay pellets, suggesting thai 
the dunes originated from beaches. Since a number of 
the dunes are now some distance from present lake 
margins (Fig. 2) it seems that they were formed in the 
past at a time of higher lake leve Is. The morphology and 
colour of the dunes associated with the lakes in the 
whole of the Coongie system generally, suggest that 
they are late Holocene rather than Pleistocene features. 
(B. Wasson pers. comm.), indicating that the most 
recent rise in lake levels occurred some time during this 
period. Further work will be carried out on this hy- 
pothesis, before I relate my work back into Wasson's 

As well as the site described above, work around 
Goyder and Marradibbadibba revealed other items of 
interest. While sites in this area were generally similar 
to those on the lakes further south, there was a greater 
variety of artefact types and raw materials here. An 
edge-ground hatchet manufactured from green stone 
was found on one of the sites (Lake Goyder 2) and 
flaked greenstones and rock-crystal was found on other 
sites. These differences seem to result from a relative 
lack of amateur collecting in these more remote lakes 
rather than for example, differences in site function or 
availability of raw materials. Goyder is not closer than 
Coongie to sources of these rock types and there 
appears to be no difference in food resources between 
the lakes. Many artefacts have been removed from 
around Coongie and from Coongie south to 
Innamincka by specialist collectors (see for example 
the collections in the South Australian Museum) and 
also by stockmen and tourists. The more remote areas 
in the lake system to the north of the old Coongie 
station, are not visited as much and fewer artefacts 
seem to have been collected from there. Collecting is an 
ongoing problem and will get worse as tourism 
increases. I will therefore take this into account when 
quantifying data on artefacts for the region in the 


I found that there are specific constraints on the lo- 
cation and distribution of sites in the Coongie system. 
The availability of permanent or semi-permanent wa- 


ter, for example, is probably the most important. Al- 
lowing for this, the presence of large, complex sites in 
the region, reinforces the historical data that population 
densities here (at least for the recent past) were high. 

Regarding the chronology of settlement, I have 
found it difficult to look at the issue of Pleistocene 
settlement. I have confirmed that Pleistocene archaeo- 
logical material is rare, but this could be partly due to 
the fact that most dunes associated with the lakes are 
quite recent. The dunes are recent, because the Coongie 
system is still operating. Future fieldwork will explore 
the issue of Pleistocene occupation further, with a 
study of Pleistocene-aged dunes associated w^th a 
series of now-dry lakes, located north of the Coongie. 

Allowing for these problems with Pleistocene con- 
texts, I would argue that the relatively late appearance 
of a more intensive occupation is a real phenomenon. 
I have surveyed many exposures of Pleistocene sedi- 
ments in longitudinal dunes near the lakes and have 
found only more recent sites. Other researchers work- 
ing closer to the main Cooper Channel have found the 
same pattern. It seems, therefore, that although the 
region was first occupied during the late Pleistocene, 
the area was only exploited on an intermittent basis 
until the mid to late Holocene. This pattern is also seen 
in other parts of the arid zone. How can we account for 
this phenomenon — can it be explained by factors such 
as climatic change for example? For the Coongie, it is 
possible there were higher lake levels in the late Holo- 
cene, and this could be having some impact on occupa- 
tion. It is unlikely, however, that environmental shifts 
alone can explain this phenomenon. Higher ground 
water levels were present in the region in the late 
Pleistocene and in neighbouring areas such as Lake 
Frame during the early and mid-Holoeene (Singh 
19X1), yet there is no evidence for corresponding 
increases in population at these times. Could the pat- 
terning be explained by another model, such as a con- 
tinental-wide process of economic intensification dur- 
ing the mid to late Holocene, as outlined by Lourandos 
(1985 )? Whilst it is tempting to see the Coongie data as 
supporting such a proposition, I have argued elsewhere 
(Williams 1 987) that the detection of intensification in 
the archaeological record is complex. Given the pre- 
liminary nature of my work in the Coongie, I will 
therefore leave a more detailed discussion of this issue 
until I have completed further fieldwork. 


The project reported upon in this paper is funded jointly by 
the National Research Fellowship Scheme, Department of 
Science and the Department of Prehistory , Research School of 
Pacific Studies, Australian National University. I thank these 
bodies for their support, ideas in the text benefited from 
discussions with Roger Luebbers, Mike Smith, Bob Wasson 
and Steve Webb. Pam Maljkovic typed the text while Betsy- 
Jane Osborne drew the illustrations. 

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by P. A. Clarke 


This paper discusses the importance of underground plant parts as sources of food, medicine, string 
fibre, narcotics, pigments and drinking water in southern South Australia. Information was obtained 
from contemporary Aboriginal accounts and historical sources. In spite of an earlier view of the 
flora of the region as providing meagre food resources, it appears that some root species were very 
important. The paper also suggests that Aborigines in this area more actively managed their 
resources than has previously been thought. 




CLARKE, P. A. 1988. Aboriginal use of subterranean plant parts in southern South Australia. Rev. S. 
Aust.Mt4S. 22 (1): 73-86. 

This paper discusses the importance of underground plant parts as sources of food, medicine, string 
fibre, narcotics, pigments and drinking water in southern South Australia. Information was obtained 
from contemporary Aboriginal accounts and historical sources. In spite of an earlier view of the flora of 
this region as providing meagre food resources, it appears that some root species were very important. 
The paper also suggests that Aborigines in this area more actively managed their resources than has 
previously been thought. 

P. A. Clarke. South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Manuscript 
received 13 August 1987. 

Although some early southern South Australian 
ethnographers reported plant roots as significant 
sources of food, Cleland ( 1 957, 1 966) considered that 
the flora was unable to provide significant Aboriginal 
food sources. The failure of Cleland to take into 
account the early reports of plant use in historical 
records and early ethnographies of the region has been 
documented for Victoria by Gott (1982, 1983) and by 
myself for southern South Australia (Clarke 1985a, 
1985b, 1986a, 1986b). This article argues that 
Cleland's view can be seen as a reflection of an earlier 
opinion that Aborigines were wholly passive 
occupants of their landscape. In pursuing this aim, the 
study of Aboriginal plant use from southern South 
Australia is placed into a broader perspective of 
southern Australian Aborigines as being active 
managers of their environment and resources. In some 
cases, plant use records from outside southern South 
Australia are used as a guide to the species of root that 
could have been used in this region. 

Sources and Methods 

For the purposes of this article, southern South 
Australia is defined as the area receiving rainfall of at 
least 35 cm annually (Fig. I ). This region contains the 
lower portion of Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, the 
Mt Lofty Ranges, the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Lower 
Murray River and Lakes, Kangaroo Island and the 
South East. Information obtained from early historical 
sources has been supplemented by consultations with 
Aboriginal people from the south-eastern region. This 
has been part of an ongoing, long-term research project 
involving the South Australian Museum and the 
Ngarrindjeri community. The project, begun in 1981, 
aims to record aspects of Aboriginal culture in this 
region. Major contributors, to the project and to this 
paper, include Ron Bonney and Lola Cameron-Bonney 

from Kingston in the South East of South Australia. 
Ron Bonney is a descendant of West Coast Aboriginal 
people but was brought up among the Moandik (his 
term for people of the Kingston area) in the South East 
of South Australia. He also has detailed knowledge of 
the Lower Murray cultural region. Lola Cameron- 
Bonney is a descendant of the Milmandjeri/ 
Temperamindjeri groups from the northern end of the 
Coorong. Her family has had a deep interest in 
Aboriginal medicine and healing practices going back 
to pre-contact times. Another Milmandjeri/ 
Temperamindjeri descendant who has provided 
important information is Fran Kernot from Kingston. 
The most significant sources from the Ngarrindjeri 
community of the Lower Murray have been Dick 
Koolmatrie and George Trevorrow from the Coorong 
and Meningie area, and Henry and Jean Rankine from 
Raukkan ( Point McLeay) on the southern shore of Lake 

An ethnobotanical collection gathered during 
fieldwork in the Lower Murray and the South East by 
Steve Hemming and myself is being permanently 
lodged in the South Australian Museum. This 
collection at present numbers over sixty specimens 
with plant use records for over forty species; much of 
this is new information. Although the Museum has an 
existing ethnobotanical collection of about fourteen 
hundred specimens from most parts of Australia, the 
southern region was poorly represented before 
commencement of this project. 

An analysis of the historical sources o\ 
ethnobotanical information from this region appears in 
Clarke (1986b). In the present paper, scientific plant 
names given are those used in The Flora of South 
Australia' (Jessop & Toelken 1986). South Australian 
Museum specimens referred to are referenced in the 
Endnotes by Anthropology Register number and by 
collector or source. The plant use information put forth 



in this paper should not be considered as a complete 
listing of all plant roots that would have been used 
traditionally by Aboriginal people in southern South 
Australia. This is because ethnobotanic data 
historically have been recorded in a fragmented 
fashion and it is unlikely that 1 have located records for 
all the species that were used. However, it is likely that 
most of the major root species that were significant as 
foods were recorded by the sources cited in this paper. 
This paper also takes into account the possiblity that the 
Aboriginal use for some species, as recorded from 
contemporary oral sources, has significantly changed 

since European settlement. There are. in addition, plant 
species found in southern South Australia for which no 
record exists of Aboriginal usage. The underground 
parts of some of these, however, have been recorded as 
being utilized by Aborigines elsewhere in Australia. 
These are listed in Table 1. The distribution within 
South Australia of the main species discussed in this 
paper is summarized in Table 2. 

European naming of plants used by Aborigines 
requires discussion before we can move on to the data 
in the paper. Nearly all the plants that the colonists 
encountered in Australia were totally unknown to 

iScrns — 




200 KM 

FIGURE 1. Locality map of South Australia showing district abbreviations used in Tables 1 and 2. 



TABLE L A list of other possible sources of edible tubers. 


ArthroptnUum miUeflonmi 
(DC.) Macbr 
(=4, panirulatum) 

Auhropiiiiium sirictum 
R. Br 

fiulhitie bulbo&a 
lR. Br.) Haw. 

BimSuirJia umMlttfti 

R. Br. 

Caladema species 

Catsta vittuia 
R. Br 

Chamav uitla cnrymbusa 
(K, Br.)FvMe*Benih. 

Clrmuti* miiTnfihvlht 

Ct»nvnlvtflu.\ specks 

Crinum flauiJum 

CyrtiKitylix species 


DrftedUtm species 

Diuris species 

(iastrfhita se.uwtuitttx 

(ieramum species 

GUismdia species 

Lyprnmthu s aveck-s 

Common Name Family 

S'ymphotdes crenata 


(= Lirnnanthemum rrenatum) 



Bulbine lUy 


Spider orchid 
Pale grass lily 

Blue squill 

Old man's beard 

Murray lily 

Gnal orchid 
Tree fem 

Hyacinth orchid 
Donkey orchid 
Native potatoes 



Fire orchid 

Onion orchid 


marsh wort 

NymphoiUex geminate Entire 

{R.Br.)Kuntze marshwort 

(= Lirnnanthemum geminatum) 




Prasaphyllum species 

Midge orchid 

PltTrntylis species 

Green- hood 







Locality For 
Recorded Use 







Ranunculaceae W. Vic. 







W. Vic. 
li. Slates".' 


E. Slates? 







Menyanthaceae N. Qd 




I., fiyre Basin 




von Mueller 1878: 213 

von Mueller 1878:213 

von Mueller 1878; 212 

von Mueller 1878:212 

von Mueller 1878:212 
von Mueller 1878:213 

Occurrence in S.A. 






Hope ft Cotms 1971: 11)7 Southern S.A. 

Dawson 1881: 20 


Dawson 1881:20 

Southern S.A. 

Maiden 1889: 20 


von Mueller 1878: 212 


Gunn cited Maiden 1X80:22 

SL? SE? 

von Mueller 1878:212 


Dawson 1881:20 

Southern S.A. 

Irvine 1957; 1 18 


von Mueller 1878:212 

Southern S.A. 

von Mueller 1878:212 


von Mueller 1878: 212 
von Mueller 1878: 212 
Palmer 1883: 100 

Roth 1901: 13 

Clelande/d/. 1925: 
von Mueller 1878; 212 
von Mueller 1878:212 

Throughout southern districts 
Throughout southern districts 


Throughout southern districts 
Throughout southern districts 

Stmfulum murrayanum 

(T. L. Mitchell) C. Gardener 
(= Fuxamt* perxu ariux) 

Bitter quondong, Ming 

Santa! aceae 

E. States? 

Maiden 1889:32 


Somhits species 

Sow thistle 


E. States'.' 

Hooker cited Maiden 1889: 59 


ThetymUin specks 

Sun orchid 



von Mueller 1878' 212 

Throughout southern districts 

Tftysanotux ptiierwnU 
R. Br. 

Fringe lily 


Musgrave Ra.,S.A. 

Cleland & Johnston 1937:213, 

All areas except LE 


von Mueller 1878:112 

Thyxanotux tuberosux 


Wurmbea species 

(- AnguiHana species) 

Fnnge lily 

Early Nancy, 
Blackman's potatoes 

I .il iaceae 

Vic, N.W. Aust. 

Vic. Mallee & 

von Mueller 1878:212 
Crawford 1982:42 
von Mueller 1878:213 





TAHLC 2. South Australian localities of main species with useful subterranean part* 


fiorrluix-ui ilonunii 
Bolboschocnus cutdweltit 
Holhoschoerms mediartus 
Cyperus species 
Dionella longifolia 
Drosrra whittakeri 
Eucalyptus dumosa 
Eucalyptus fasck utoso 
Eucalyptus gracilis 
Eucalyptus incTOsmta 
Eucatupius oleosa 
[jtvaleru plebetit 
Mitrostfis scapificra 
Oxalis species 
Polypneas mylixtuc 
PtaUUum rsculrnrum 
Stmnilum murravanum 
Trifili'ctou ptoccrum 
Typha species 
Xantfanrhot{j species 






















Locality within S.A.. (See Fig. 1 for area codes) 




State wide 

Southern districts 







State wide 



Southern districts 






science. The folk terms that were used for plants in the 
settler's country of origin were often imposed upon 
plants to which they generally showed only superficial 
resemblance. For example, the early ethnographies of 
southern South Australia contain descriptions of 
Aboriginal edible roots which are cited as native 
polaio, native parsnip, native radish, native carrot, 
native dandelion, onion grass and native truffles. There 
is evidence to suggest that some of these descriptions 
have been used independently in several accounts of 
different species. Some also appear to have had the 
status of commonly used names whereas others seem to 
have been used only by ethnographers when 
attempting to describe a species with no other name. 

Determining the reasons for a plant being given a 
particular name is sometimes difficult. In some cases, 
the names refer to the use and properties of the species. 
In other cases, the planis were named solely on 
appearance. For example, most records of roots 
described as being like a radish arc considered by Gott 
( 19S.V) utbe Micraseris scttpigeradue to the similarity 
between the root of the latter and the cultivated radish. 
However Microseris scapigera is also commonly 
referred to as the yam daisy because oi the similarity of 
the above ground parts of the plant with those of 
common daisies. To make the task of identifying some 
of these European terms today even more difficult, 
some Q(f the folk terms associated with Aboriginal 
words for edible roots may have only been used for a 
short period in fairly restricted, local areas. 

The transfer of plant names between Aborigines and 
Europeans also occurred. There are many records of 
the use by Aborigines of Aboriginal terms for 
European foods and plants. For example, there are the 
Adelaide words parangota* for potato and *parrc r for 
rice (Wyatl 1879: 174, Williams 1830; 295, 

TeicbelmaTtfi & Scbuennarm 1K40: 37). The temt 
parangota was also used for an unidentified species of 
Aboriginal root food. On the other hand. Aboriginal 
terms for Australian plants were sometimes adopted by 
Europeans and ? in some cases, their use has continued 
to the present. Examples of this arc 'Pitjuri ' (widely 
used term for Ditboisia hopwoodii), 'Mantari * (South 
Australian and Victorian term Tor the fruit, Kun:ea 
pomijera), and 'Mumong' (Victorian term for 
Microsehs scapi%era). 

rnwnr.RAiiiir Dhau-s of Root 

Boerftavw sUtminii Meiklc & Hewson 

This species is commonly called lar-vine and has 
been suggested by Cleland ( 1966: 135 - his name £. 
diffusa L.) as the possible identity of one of the roots 
listed by Schuermann ( IS79: 2 16) as having been eaten 
by the Port Lincoln Aborigines. Black, in his 'Flora of 
South Australia' 11943; 333 L mentions that the root 
was eaten by Aborigines but does not give a source or 
locality lor this statement. It is highly likely that B. 
dnminii is often the plant described in the ethnographic 
record under the category 'edible roots*. Apart from in 
the South East region, this species is found throughout 
southern South Australia. 

Bolboschoenus sp. 


This species is most likely the poolihVdcscribcd by 
Angas 0847a 101 > as a 'triangular species of grass or 
reed* and eaten by the Aboriginal people of Hie Murray 
River. Eyre (1845. 2: 254. 269) refers to reed roots 
called 'behllah* that were ;in important source of food 



and found in abundance on the flats of the Murray. Eyre 
described them as walnut-sized and prepared by being 
roasted and pounded between stones into a thin cake. 
Gott (1982: 59-62) considers the 'behllah' to be 
Scirpus medianus V. Cook which is a synonym for 
Bolboschoenus medianus (V. Cook) Sojak. In this 
article I follow Jessop & Toelken (1986: 2007) and 
refer to this plant by the latter name. Cleland collected 
roots of a species of Scirpus (or Eolboschoenusl) from 
the mouth of the lnman River, south of Adelaide, in 
January 1940 and wrote that they were probably eaten 1 . 
However, he did not stale the reasons for this 
suggestion. Von Mueller (1878: 213) lists Scirpus 
maritimus (called Bolboschoenus caldwellii (V. 
Cook) Sojak by Jessop & Toelken 1986: 2007) as a 
source of edible roots used as food by Victorian 
Aboriginal people. It was apparently an edible root 
species that was available in autumn and was roasted. 
This species is widespread in southern South 

Cyperus sp. 


Tindale (1974: 60) states that the Peramangk people 
of the Mt Lofty Ranges were able to exist all year round 
without venturing onto the plains because of the 
availability of Cyperus conns. Cyperus species have 
been recorded as major food source from other regions 
such as Central Australia (Cleland & Johnston 1933: 
115, 118; 1937: 213) and north-western Australia 
(Crawford 1982: 40). It is possible that some of the 
records of 'Native Onions' refer to species of Cyperus. 
For example, Tindale (1981: 1880) records that the 
southern South Australian Aborigines ate the onion 
grass corms throughout the year except during the 
growing season. However, Tindale' s records of 
Cyperus and onion grass corms mentioned above may 
also refer to a species ofBolbschoenus, as this genus is 
also in the Cyperaceae family. 

Dianella longifolia R.Br. 


The reddish brown roots of this plant, commonly 
referred to as the pale flax-lily, were boiled and the 
solution taken internally for colds according to Lola 
Cameron-Bonney. It was termed peeintook by the 
Milmandjeri/Temperamindjeri, but was called pintook 
by the MoandhV. 

Drosera whittakeri Planchon DROSERACEAE 

D. whittakeri, or the scented sundew, is the most 
likely species referred to by Worsnop as an Aboriginal 
source of pigment: 

The native tribes around Adelaide obtained a brighter red 
pigment from the bulbous roots of the small sundew plant. 

which contains a small red pustule between the brown 
outer skin and the white inner bulb. This red pustule they 
used to scrape off and mix with fat for coloring the fillet of 
opossum hair-twine which they bound round their heads 
(Worsnop 1897: 15). 

The blister-like growth or pustule of this bulb may 
have been used for decorating the large bark shields 
made by the Adelaide people for deflecting reed- 
spears. Stephens records that during their manufacture 
they 'received a coating of pipeclay or lime, and were 
then ... ornamented with red bands made from the juice 
of a small tuber which grew in abundance on the virgin 
soil' (1890: 487). 

It is interesting to note that it is European oral 
tradition in South Australia that early settlers in the 
Adelaide area also used this species of sundew as a 
source of pigment for ink (R. Matthews pers. comm.). 
It is highly likely that the use of this plant by Europeans 
was copied from Aboriginal people in the area. 
Eucalyptus sp. MYRTACEAE 

Eucalyptus roots were sometimes used as a source 
of drinking water and as food. The need to obtain water 
for drinking from plant roots in the southern South 
Australian region was probably confined to the mallee 
areas of Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Murray 
region (away from the river) and parts of the South 
East. This is because surface supplies of freshwater are 
scarce in these areas, despite relatively high annual 
rainfalls. Elsewhere in the southern regions, water 
from springs and soaks appears to have been available 
all the year round. For instance, Hemming (1985: 25) 
records the ease with which Aborigines of the Fleurieu 
Peninsula obtained drinking waterfrom coastal springs 
during the summer months even when local creeks and 
soaks had dried up. Gara (1985: 6—1 1 ) discusses 
methods of obtaining water in arid regions of South 
Australia. Smyth ( 1 878: 220-22 1 ) also records similar 
uses of the Eucalyptus roots from the mallee areas of 

Magarey ( 1 895) provides the most detailed account 
of water extraction from roots. Some of Magarey' s data 
on root water comes from coastal areas of the Great 
Australian Bight and depends on the data of Eyre 
(1845, 1: 349-351, 359, 2: 248-249). Margarey 
describes in detail the trees that were used by the 
Aborigines as a supply of root water and the methods 
for the extraction of it. In his list of 'water-trees', 
Magarey ( 1 895: 4) includes species of Eucalyptus such 
as E. dumosa Cunn. ex Schauer, E. gracilis FvM, E. 
incrassata Labill., E. oleosa FvM ex Miq., and E. 
fasciculosa FvM (Magarey's E. paniculata). All of 
these trees exist in the mallee areas of southern South 
Australia. It was through the availability of root water 
that the Aborigines were able to enter arid regions. The 
Ngarkat people of the Murray Mallee relied heavily on 



root water and only needed to travel to the Murray 
River at times when severe drought had decreased their 
otherwise reliable sources of water (Tindale 1 974: 62). 
The use of Eucalyptus roots as food is recorded by 
Maiden (1889: 27) who says that the South Australian 
Aborigines powdered the bark of the root of £. dumosa 
and perhaps other species and ate it by itself or with 
other plants. Maiden claims that it was called 'Congoo' 
but does not mention the area in which this name was 
used. This mallee is found over much of southern South 
Australia and the areas to the east of the Flinders 
Ranges. Eyre (1845, 2: 250) states that the smaller 
roots, less than an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, were used 
as food by the Aborigines (presumably from southern 
Australia). He records that: 

The roots being dug up, the bark is peeled off and roasted 
crisp in hot ashes; it is then pounded between two stones, 
and has a pleasant farinaceous taste, strongly resembling 
that of malt, 1 have often seen the natives eating this ... but 
it is, probably, only resorted to when other food is scarce 
(Eyre 1845, 2: 250, see also p. 224, 251, 273), 

There is also a record of the use of Eucalyptus roots 
as medicine. Moriarty ( 1 879: 52) states that rushes and 
the roots of the Mallee tree were boiled (presumably 
together) and drunk for internal afflictions by the 
Narrinyeri (Ngarrindjeri). Lower Murray Aboriginal 
person, Laura Kartinyeri, says that the roots of a 
species of Eucalyptus were boiled and the solution 
drunk for colds. Dawson (1881: 57) recorded the use of 
the roots of a narrow-leaved species of gum tree as a 
cure for indigestion. In this case, the roots were infused 
in hot water and the resulting solution drunk as a tonic. 

Lavatera plebeia Sims 


The roots of a white flowering variety of mallow 
were recorded as commonly used as food by the 
Aborigines of South Australia (Bailey, cited in Maiden 
1889: 37). They were described as having the 
consistency of parsnips. Maiden considers that this 
plant is L. plebeia, th& Australian hollyhock or mallow. 
Wyatt (1879. 170) lists in his Adelaide and hncounter 
Bay vocabulary the terms 'kannoonta 1 for mallow 
plant and 'peecharra' for mallow shrub. The latter 
appears to have been used as a source of fibre for string 
making: Wyatt ( 1 879: 176) records the term 'teeyappe 
peecharra 1 as 'chewed fibre of mallow'. Eyre (1845, 2: 
311) stales that the fibres of the root of the mallow were 
used in net making, though he does not state in what 
area. L. plebeia has been recorded as used for this 
purpose elsewhere, such as the northern Flinders 
Ranges (Cleland & Johnston 1 939: 1 76) and the Lake 
Eyre Basin (Clarke n.d.). 

Microseris scapigera (Sol. ex A. Cunn.)Schultz-Bip. 


This species, commonly known as the yam-daisy, is 
possibly another of the many plants recorded simply as 

'edible root 1 from southern South Australia. The tuber 
is recognized as one of the major food sources for 
Victorian Aborigines (Gott 1983: 2) and the fact that it 
occurs widely in southern South Australia suggests that 
it was probably a major source in this region also. 
Bcllchambers (1931: 132) states that of all the tubers 
eaten by the Murray River Aborigines, he thought the 
yam was the most prized. Unfortunately it is not clear 
whether Bellchambers , 'yam' isM. scapigera, and \l\s 
possible that he is referring to another root species. 

In the Adelaide and Encounter Bay area, the edible 
root terms 'umba 1 and 'yungumba' were said to be 
Microseris by Wyatt (1879: 176). One of the Port 
Lincoln terms for 'edible root 1 , 'ngamba*, 
(Schuermann 1879: 216) probably referes to M. 
scapigera, as it is similar to terms for Microseris 
recorded in cognate languages, such as that recorded 
from the Adelaide and Encounter Bay area. The yam- 
daisy was used on the west coast of South Australia. 
The South Australian Museum has specimens of 
Microseris roots that were registered in 1913 as an 
Aboriginal food from Elliston\ Also, Namba is the 
recorded word for this species used by the 
Adnyamathanha of the Northern Flinders Ranges 
(McEntee 1986: 11 — his Adnamatana). Berndt & 
Vogelsang ( 1 94 1 : 10) list the term Ngumpa for 'Yam' 
from the Ngadjuri people of the Mid-North. In view of 
the fact that Berndt and Vogelsang recorded different 
words for wild potato and wild carrot, it is likely that 
their yam refers to a single species, such as Microseris, 
rather than being a collective term for all edible roots. 
Gott (1983: 14-15) suggests that the lower Murray 
term Ngamko, meaning 'native radish' (Moorhouse 
1935: 30), is likely to be M. scapigera. Another 
possible record of the yam-daisy is provided by 
Sanders (1907. 9: 69) who states that the local 
Aboriginal families in the Echunga area, dug up the 
roots of a 'dandy lion', called 'waldies 1 . Gott (1983: 14— 
15) also considers that the Booandik terms 'Moorna' or 
'Mar-o-ngire, 1 described as 'edible roots 1 by Smith 
(1880: 1 29), refer to this species in the South East. Gott 
(1983: 8) quotes a note by Bailey on a specimen of 
Microseris from South Australia in the Queensland 
Herbarium, which states that the colonists of South 
Australia used to eat the roots of this plant following the 
practice of the Aborigines who relied on it as food. 

Qxalis sp. 


Angas (1847a: 84) records that in the South East. 
Aboriginal women dug up the edible roots of a species 
of Oxalis. For the Adelaide people. Stephens claims 

The root most sought after is a highly nutritious oxalis 
resembling a small carrot and tasting like cocoanut. It is 
dug up chiefly by the women, with a heavy pointed stick 
five feet long which they force, by throwing, into tfie earth 
to the depth of about eight inches, thereby bringing up the 
object of their search. It is very abundant and discovered 



bv leaf. Three persons have been since the foundation 
nt this colony, who would probably have been nuved had 
Ihey known where to look tor the root (Stephens 1 923. 7) 

There arc othci records of edible 'Native Camus 
that may refer to Oxatis. 

Potyparus mylittae Bertr. 


The common names for this species of fungus 
native truffle and Blackfellows bread (Daley 193 I ; 28) 
-Suggest its edible qualities. The species is possibly the 
edible fungus mentioned also by Byre \ 1 845. 2: 26V/ as 
found below the ground. Maiden (1889: 46) records 
thai ihc Tasmanian Aborigines looked foi truffles in 
(he ground about [he victnily of adead tree The South 
Australian Museum has specimens of fr'typorus 
mylittae listed as Aboriginal foods from Myponga 
(South Australia', I ake Albert (South Australia) 1 
Gippsiandi Viciona)' J and north Tasmania', Most of the 
above specimens measure above 5 cm in length. 
hrcadlh and he t gin. 'the biggest is from Tasmania and 
measures 2<V*> by Ih by 10 cm. The ethnographic 
record indicates that this jpccies svas used as food 
tlcspile Cleland's {1906; 135) doubt that it could In- 
eaten due to td umghnoKs 

Dawson (1881: 20) records a specie 1 - of large 
underground fungus from western Victoria CftlUd 
native bread, aboul the size of an ordinary turnip thai 
was eaten uncooked and which tasted, in his wotds. 
very good*- Smyth (1878- 209) claims that the native 
truffle was much sought after bv the natives' and that 
he had seen specimens weighing .several pounds; 
further, that in some <listmis. a fungus weighing fifty 
pounds (about 23 kgt is occasionally found. Bnnwick 
( IK70' |5) states that fn Tasmania, this fungus was 
peeled and then roasted heron. In trip eaten. However. 
Daley ( 1 93 1 : 28) c hums that it was generally eaten raw 
by the Australian Aborigine*, the din simply bein^ 
shaken off. fn view of evidence, h isL«iifieulitosu|>puri 
Iceland's doubts about this funei. Other spears of 
subterranean fungus were ptnbabJy also eaietu 

Piervtium ezevkntum iPoist.f.) Codofflttfi 


Tins sfittaert iv Lommonly called bracken lem and it 
t.s luf&eif here as a probable source of food for the 
southern South. Australian region Its use fn Tasmania 
has been documented by Robm.son (cited in Con J 9X2: 
64). In tins record, the rh^ontes and young fronds 
vkvtv rhowei Dawsor [W$] 20) ciuum ihat the 
western Victorian Aborigines made a kind of bread 
ashes and braicn into a pasie with a stone It is- possible 
that Dawson was referring IB bracken (Gott 1985: 8). 
Maideu » 1 H.S9: Vlt states that the starchy rhizomes of 
this plant were mien both raw -ind masted but he does 
not give any locality. Mathews ( 1 903: 73 J recorded the 

Bungandity name 'Me-e' for bracken fern in the South 
East and Smith ( 1 880: 1 291 recorded the term ' Maa-aa 
for fern root for the same group of people (Smith's 
Booandik). In Tasmania, according to Robinson (cited 
in Hiatl 1967: 130), bracken roots wen? cut into short 
pieces and roasted in ashes* 

In spite of the records of the use of this tern outside 
South Australia, tt does not appear to have been a major 
food source in the southern South Australian region. It 
was not mentioned by early ethnographers and it was 
not known as a food source by Ron Bonney and Lola 
Cameron- Bonney who were able to describe several 
other types at edible roots for the South Rast region, 
However, Bonne) did maintain that they were edible 
because pigs will eat the roots, tt was possibly a food 
only resorted to by humans in difficult times. 

Trigtochin procervm R.Br JUNCAGINACEAfc 

This species, commonly called water ribbons, has 
numerous and very fleshy roots. It is possibly the 
'Maracrow* recorded by BeJlchambeis i I'iM. 132) as 
a food with 'succulent roots', Cletand (1966; 132) 
suggests that the tubers of 7'. proL'cnmt were used b> 
the Aborigines of the coastal areas of Adelaide ami 
contiguous regions. He lodged flt the Museum a food 
specimen of tins plant from the Onkaparmga River at 
Noarlungu. south of Adelaide, but did nol give the 
source of his information concerning its Aboriginal 
use' . Use of this root species as food has been recorded 
from Victoria {\on Mueller 1878: 213) and Ainhcn 
LaudtNpcch! I9$R;483) In the latter uveount it was 
eaten raw or cooked in the fire for about ten minutes and 
apparently had a nutty taste- On flrmie Vyfindt the 
nx>tswercea'cnraworroastedui the hotsjnd under d»: 
lire and were an important pari of flic tfiei (Levitt 1981* 
19). This is a palatable easily obtained food which was 
probably highly prized 

7 ypha sp 


The recorded Aboriginal names Tor m*><| e*hhlr 
mots described as growing on river banks and In watei 
lor the southern South Australian re gion probably refer 
tuTypho, commonly known as the flag or bulrush. Tin* 
is especially so for such roots also lifted as n titfUftff of 
fibre lor siring making Angas 0847a 55) sratcw ihat 
in southern South Australia die hutiush root was 
chewed arid ihen the fibres scraped, using Ireshwaier 
mussel shells, lor the purpose of making cord for their 
rrray and basket*, Angas t lK47n: 90) records that this 
fibre Is also conveiltd into rope out ut wbtch the 
southern Aborigines make their fishing lines arid ncl* 
forhunling and fistung. Teichelmann & Schuemiaroi 
( IS40: 53) describe the Adelaide word 'wainpa as a 
farinaceous* mot growing on the river hank.-., die 
nutritious pan \$ eaten and the tough pans mode into 
strings, nets, etc \ Gell 1 1904: 94) alBO lecurded Uu* 



word from this area but he simply described it as an 
'aquatic plant 1 . However, based on the fact that 
'warnpa' was an aquatic plant whose root was used as 
both a food and for fibre, it is most likely to be Typha. 

In the Lower Murray River area, Typha appears to 
have had the name 'Moomoorookee 1 applied to the 
whole plant and 'Menungkerre' to the root (Taplin 
1859-79: 47). Ngarrindjeri people, Henry and Jean 
Rankine, use the term, 'ManungkarT, for the bulrush 
in general. Cleland ( 1966: 138) records 'ManungkarT 
as the Murray River name for 'Typha 1 , but he gives no 
separate name for the root. Fran Kernot states that she 
and her family used to eat the bulrush root when they 
lived along the Coorong in the 1940s and into the 
1960s. The name she gave for the plant was 
*milmuruki' and she described it as being two feet long 
(about 60 cm). It was cooked in ashes or boiled. Ron 
Bonney said that the Moandik name for the Bulrush 
was 'manakari' and that the root was about eighteen 
inches long (approximately 45 cm) and was easy to 
pull out. He stressed that this food source was available 
throughout the year. 

The importance of Typha to the overall diet of the 
South East Aborigines is summed up by Angas ( 1 847a: 
89) who states that the 'staff of their existence is the 
bulrush root which the women gather among the 
reeds...'. Once on his trip through southern South 
Australia, Angas (1847a: 59) met an Aboriginal 
woman carrying an infant on her back chewing the 
'favourite bulrush root'. Another child was standing 
alongside also chewing a long piece of bulrush. Angas 
(1847a: 92) recorded Ihe name of a Lower Murray 
Aboriginal person 'Chembillin', meaning chewing the 
bulrush root'. 

Eyre also stressed the usefulness of Typha or the 
broad flag-reed, as he called it. He states, for example, 
that: 'In all parts of Australia, even where other food 
abounds, the root of this reed is a favourite and staple 
article of diet among the aborigines' (Eyre 1 845, 2: 62). 
Further, he records that the bulrush was the staple food 
source through out the year on the Lower Murray but 
that it tasted best after the floods had receded and the 
tops had decayed and been burnt off (1845, 2: 269). 
Krefft says, concerning the bulrushes, that on the New 
South Wales section of the Murray River: 

at a certain period, I believe January and February to be the 
months, the women enter these swamps, take up the roots 
of these reeds, and carry them in large bundles to their 
camp; the roots thus collected are about a foot to eighteen 
inches in length, and they contain besides a small quantity 
of saccharine matter, a considerable quantity of fibre. The 
roots are roasted in a hollow made into the ground, and 
either consumed hot or taken as a soit of provision upon 
hunting excursions... (Krefft 1862, 5: 361). 

Angas (1847a: 58) says that bulrush roots were 
steamed between heated stones beneath ovens or 
cooking fires resembling kilns. Angas (1847b: plate 

47) illustrates such a kiln. Beveridge (1889: 71) states 
that on the Murray, the outer cortex of the bulrush root 
was removed and the inner part chewed. Angas ( 1 847a: 
90) claimed that he saw large numbers of heaps of the 
fibrous parts of the bulrush roots in the shape of pellets 
around the campsites. Dawson ( 1 88 1 : 20) notes for the 
western districts of Victoria, that the root of the bulrush 
was eaten uncooked as a salad and had a taste 
resembling celery. Thomas (1906: 1 16) records that in 
South Australia the bulrush root was usually eaten with 
mussels. The roots were sometimes taken as provisions 
during hunting and gathering activities as noted in the 
accounts of Krefft and Angas cited above. 

Taplin (1 859-79: 151) indicates that the Aborigines 
of the Lower Murray River area were often paid by 
settlers to collect large amounts of bulrush root. 
Mason, Aboriginal Protector on the Lower Murray in 
the 1850s, lent a boat to some Aboriginal people from 
the Point McLeay Mission so that they could collect 
'Moomoorooke' for a storekeeper at Wellington on the 
Murray. Taplin on one occasion went with the 
Aboriginal women to collect the roots in the Point 
McLeay Mission whale boat; he notes that he gave 
them a good price for the plants ( 1 859-79: 57). This is 
not the only record of Europeans using this root: Mr 
G.W. Batty, a long time European resident of the Victor 
Harbor area, remembers the bulrush also being eaten 
by local settlers up until the 1920s 9 . 

Xanthorrhoea sp. 


The ethnographic record of southern South 
Australia suggests that the roots, at least of some 
species of Xanthorrhoea —commonly called grasslree 
or yacca, were eaten. Schuermann, describing the plant 
foods of the Port Lincoln Aborigines, claimed thai: 

the only root known to me as eaten in the raw state is that 
of the grasstree which grows in great abundance on the 
barren hills and plains of Port Lincoln, and is consumed by 
the natives in prodigious quantities at different seasons of 
the year (Schuermann 1879: 216). 

Angas (1847a: 84) records that the roots of the 
smaller species of Xanthorrhoea (probably X. minor 
R.Br.) of the South East were eaten. Of the smaller 
species of grasstrce, Angas reports that: 

They eat only the lower portion of the leaves at their 
junction with the root, drawing them out of the ground, and 
biting off that part which was underneath the soil: the 
flavour resembles that of a nut (Angas 1847a: 203). 

According to Pate & Dixon (1982: 141), probably 
only the young roots would have been utilised. 

Ron Bonney stated that witchetty grubs (larvae of 
wood-boring and root-feeding beetles and moths) 
could be obtained from the roots of the Xanthorrhoea . 



Unknown species-medicine LEGUMINOSAE Unknown species - food LEGUMINOSAE? 

Dick Koolniairte. an Aboriginal man from Meningie, 
said that the root of a yellow flowered plant called 
'KoorunLhunla* was used as a cure for coughs and 
colds. The long root was boiled and then chewed to 'get 
the oil out'. Laura Kartinyeri says that this plant is a 
bush which has red and yellow (lowers like that of a 
pea. She said that the root tasted like liquorice powder 
and that it was used as a medicine. Ron Bonney and 
Lola Cameron-Bonney say that the roots of this plant 
were boiled and ihc solution used for stomach trouble 
and that it is 'good iron medicine for problems wilh the 
blood*. They said that ihc flowers were like a yellow 
pea with a red-brow n centre. The leaveswere said to be 
Ion*.'.. Ron Bonney claims that il was called 
Knorunthtitiut However, Lola Cameron-Bonney said 
that her grandfather. Alfied Cameron, had called it 
Konlumhuma' . This probably reflects a difference in 
dialect. I previously considered this plant to be the yam 
daisy {Mhnwns SCQpiefiftl (Sol ex A. Cunn ) 
HchuUrBip. based on a brief description given by Dick 
KoolniaUie (Clarke 1985a: 5) More recent fieldwork 
with Ron Bonney, Lola Cameron-Bonney and Laura 
KartinyeTi suggests that the clarification of this plant 
is not amongst Ihe Compositae (as is MiMKwm) but 
rather in the Leguminosac. The identity of this species 
will only be known for certain when a specimen can be 
obtained. Despite sevcraJ attempts to find this plant 
with Ron Bonney and Lola Cameron Bonney. we baVC 
not been able to do so. The lack of remaining large 
stands of malice scrub in the upper Coorong area has 
made finding this root species (and others) difficult. 

Unknown species - narcotic Family unknown 

Angas (IK47: 73) refers to a plant root that was. 
obtained from the scrub and which -was frequently used 
m cause into* ieauon. CTeland ( 1966:1201 considers it 
la be Anihoccrcis myosotidea F\M [now known as 
Cxpkanthera n\\H>sotidea (FvM). Haegfif and may 
have based ifalS on a suggestion by von Meuller<l878: 
2'12'llM that species of thrs genus be tested for the 
stimulating power' of pitjuri (Duboisia hopwoodn 
iFyMiFvJVIL a well known narcotic used in central 
Australia and closely related to Anthoccnis. J 
previously considered that this narcotic was possibly 
the roots off Dubviua or NUoftOfM (Clarke 10S7 J 2- 
13), Latz (.pers. comm.), however, states that it i& 
unlikely ihat the roots of these plants would have been 
used in preference to the leaves. Oon (pers. comm.) 
suggests that it may be the roots of ihe mine; [Santutttm 
murrayatutm ( T.L. Mitchell) C.Gardner|. Stone 1 19 ! I ; 
4451 records that ihe root and bark of this plant were 
used by the Lake Boga people of Victoria ro make a 
stupefying drink. 

Sanders (1907-9: 69) records that the roots of a 
species of vetch, called *Tidlars\ were eaten by the 
Echunga people- 

Unknown species - food 

Familv unknown 

Ron Bonney and Lola Cameron-Bonney state that 
wild onions were eaten by the Aboriginal people in the 
South East region. The brief description given of the 
appearance of this plant indicates that is not a specie v 
of Cytwrus. Field trips to the remnant pockets of 
scrub in this area have not yet produced a specimen 
Thus its identity remains unknown lor the present. 

Unknown species- food Family unknown 

A species known by contemporary Aboriginal 
people as wild parsnip is another root that was used as 
food in the South East A specimen of it is yei |o ht 

Unknown species - food 

FomiW unknown 

According to Lola Cameron-Bonney , the Coorong 

Aboriginal people ate a wild potatoes that thcx^a'k < 

Murunguoonf. Ron Bonney claimed that the fiaiw 

plant was called 'Punmanlhi by the Moandik, Withoul 

a specimen, the identity of this plant is uncertain. 

Unknown species - food 

Family unknown 

Ron Bonney and Lola Cameron- Bonney described a 
type of wild carroi thai nol only had an edible root like 
a carrot but had a similar top as well , This plant gncw in 
the sandhill areas ol the South Last and die Hummocks 
of the Coorong. Recent attempts to locate this plant for 
identification have farted as it now appears to be 
locally very rare, h is possible that the 'Wild Carrots' 
mentioned by Sandcis ( 19U7-9: 69) as being eaten by 
the Echunga people, may refer to a species of Bulhitu 
(Ixali.s or siniiliar plant. 

Ttu-SttNO*. x. $ Roots 

Of the lood .source* listed and discussed above, I •' 
different plan Is with sublet ranean parts wcredclmuely 
useu in the southern South Australian region. A further 
30 were possibly used This is some indication of the 
diversity of root food available m Ute temperate regions 
across southern Australia. In the south-west of Western 
Australia, Cney( 1841. 263,2^1) recorded the u$eol'2V 
typos Of real and there were probably others In 
Victoria- Gott (1982 60) stares that 218 species were 
possibly u.scd. 166 nf these being orchids Pluthlcy 
iciicd in Qoif 1X92: Oil! lists 10 different root ipeciex 



for Tasmania although there would undoubtedly be 
many more. It appear from ethnographic and 
contemporary sources thai at least some species of 
roots (Mivrosem, Typha, Triglot inn and Q.xalis for 
example) held a significant place in the diet of southern 
South Australian Aborigines because they were 
available for all or most of the year. Some roots, such 
as those of the Eucalyptus, were probably more 
important as drought or 'hard time' foods. 

In spite of the difficulty in obtaining from the 
historical recordquantitativedataon the proportions ol 
plant and animal foods in theAboriginal diet, the early 
ethnographies provide an indication of the range of 
foods available It is assumed that those foods 
approaching the status Of staples are present in the 
ethnographic record- It is also clear that some of the 
early travellers through southern South Australia were 
struck by the reliance of Aborigines on certain species 
of roots. As noted, Angas ( |S47a: 89} considered the 
bulrush root to be 'staff of their existence*. This was 
based nn his many sightings ot Aboriginal people 
gathering and eating bulmsh roots during his trip 
through southern South Australia Another record of 
Aborigines collecting tubers ts from Evrc. As he 
approached th* flinders Ranges from the south on It* 
Ma\ 1839, ho 'found a good many natives tugging 
-ynms' (198* 198* On 27 Jane 1*40, a.% M w» 
travelling just sooth of Crystal Brook, iu the northern 
Mount I.olty Ranges, he came suddenly upon a Wftfit] 
party oi natives enjMKed in d^emg ¥*&$• tf wfctefc Hie 
plauisweactull-..IIH4_\ I ; 42), 

I -:> re Jiuted that the root called 'Belillah' (probably 
Bulbosihwm m* t dianus\ was an important food 
source Mid. Wfc A Wo have noted, was abundant on 
the flflU f Murray (Eyre 1H45 2: 2*9), Hyn-'s 
i merest in Aboriginal use of roots appear* to I* fte>cd, 
in part on bis use of diem tosupnlernem his own Unni 
and vatcr piovisiws when travelling across Australia 
oMhLM'X|^mmnsil«45. ii 370-371.2; 56 57.«-tV*, 

However, not all early accounts or" MbodQltttf tf&& 
and food-getting in southern AuMiaua illustrate the: 
importatue. of plants. Some satires rune a Vtitii 
towards foods resulting from male acuvtties This was 
possibly because most of tflC *arly Accounts arc from 
mm. Tins hrslujival ivxofj certainly documents the 
division ot labour by fender I in tood pioduetion For 
example, feichelnuinr st nrv. tfttil when llie Adelaide 
people lire travelling: *7bc mon start first, c iirryine 
nothing but a smn'1 na hag- and hutting miptcmeniv 
the women, burdened Iftfc unotis. follow, e>vher & 
prepare on the road vc^Uhle food for the night, whilst 
die men arc looking out foe Alfett 1 . . {Tcit4ic1nunn 

This division was enshrined in mythology, too. 
Teichelmann describes how, in the Adelaide 
Aboriginal beliefs, 'The Pleiades arc girls gathering 
rOfttS and other vegetables; the Orion are boys, and are 
hunting' (IK41: 9). Men hunted larger game that. 
generally, would have contributed less in quantity to 
the overall requirements, but which was probably 
more highly valued by the group. 

Another (actor contributing to possible bias in the 
ethnographic record was that events such as the 
spearing of emu and kangaroo may have left a more 
enduring impression on the memories ol the recorder 
than those of the daily gathering of. for example. 
bulrush roots by the women and ehildren.Thus the 
recording of hunting and e,atheniie, techniques, often 
written up many years after the events were observed, 
has tended to over-emphasize the hunting aspect and lo 
devalue the gathering component. For example. 
Worsnop (1K97) and Taplin (1874) have published 
detailed accounts of fisnmg and snaring, for southern 
South Australia, which barely mention plant foods. 
Similarly. Buhner states that the food of the Aborigines 
of the Lower Murray (New South Wales/Victorian 
section). Wimmera.Oippsland and Mancroo district* 
•consisted chiefly of animal substances, to which were 
added a frtV vegetables and some roots, which mast 
have been vety haid of digeMum (Buhner 1K87: 15). 

P.arly souiccs. such as Buhner, did not appieciutc 
the seasonal fluctuation of meal and vegetable fowls. 
Some animal food>. such as fish, emu and kangaroo, 
may have been highly favoured fdods when .i mailable 
Yet vegetable foods such as roots were probably die 
main soy when meat was not easily obtainable \ 
report from the Statistical Society in 1*42 y.ives some 
tdea of die seasonality ol Ahonejiuil food in the 
Adelaide aiva" 1 . !n spring, vegetables and grubs wete 
muinly rat en W ith the cormiienceiiieni oi summer , the 
eu,e-, and young of birds were eaten as were kangaroos, 
enWs, fish and hoards. During the hottest pan of the 
ycat. possums and At ana gum were obtained, while 
in aiuumffj hemes and nectar were available hi AlC 
winter. a variety of mntr» were consumed, a* were 
possums and other animals The report illustrates mat 
roots were used as food at a lime of the year when other 
food sources, perhaps more hijjWj favoured, were not 

Another factor distorting the views of early wnteis 
on the .southern Aboriginal diet was the rapidity with 
which mdigcnous root and many other vegetable foods 
were replaced by European foodstuffs. Information 
given by Aboriginal people today nn bush foods 
obtained in the Lower Murray area in the last 50 to hi) 
years, indicates far less use of roots than of othei 
indigenous foods nuch as fish, water fowf kangaroo, 
ctw -and berries. The European food obtained from 
fartitf and towns probably led to a significant decrease 



in consumption of less favoured vegetable foods. As 
stated above, the bulrush root, for example, contains a 
great deal of fibre. All indigenous roots used as food 
sources with unfavourable properties (in taste or 
texture or difficulty of procurement or preparation) 
would have been replaced by foods such as European 
potatoes, turnips, Hour and rice. This fact must be taken 
into consideration when reconstructing Aboriginal 
plant food lists from contemporary sources. 

The above reasons, as well as the lack of quantitative 
data on the importance of vegetable food, led scholars 
such as Cleland to understate the role of this component 
in the overall diet of Aborigines. Cleland considered 
plant foods in southern South Australia to be 'hardly 
procurable' and believed that the Aborigines were 
essentially meat-eaters (1966: 188-1 19). Gott (1982, 
1983) and myself (Clarke 1985a, 1986b) have 
undertaken detailed historical analyses of Aboriginal 
plant use records combined with field work with 
Aboriginal people in an attempt to refute this position 
as it applies to southern Australia. Cleland* s treatment 
of Aboriginal plant use in southern Australia does not 
reflect the diversity of plant use and relies on 
inadequate documentation of use. He also did not fully 
appreciate the amount of information on plant use that 
could have been gleaned from the ethnographic record 
and from Aboriginal informants of the period in which 
he conducted his research. 

Passive Wanders or 
Active Resource Managers? 

Assuming Cleland was mistaken in his view, the 
question, then, is how he came to his conclusion about 
the poor food value of the southern Australian 
vegetation. Cleland had a medical background and 
made significant scientific contributions in the areas of 
medicine, human biology, ethnology and botany. He 
published widely from the 1900s through to the 1960s 
in these fields. Cleland (1966) claims that the 
Aborigines remained hunters and gatherers primarily 
because the Australian continent did not have plants 
and animals suitable for agriculture and pastoralism. 
He maintains that: 

The animal and vegetable surroundings of the first comers 
to Australia were singularly unfavourable for the 
development of a pastoral or an agricultural people. In fact 
such knowledge as they might have possessed in regard to 
these matters before their arrival could have been of little 
or no use and must have been quickly forgotten from want 
of application (Cleland 1966: 113). 

This statement illustrates how Cleland linked the 
Australian biota closely with the development (or 
perhaps even degeneration) of the Aboriginal mode of 
subsistence. It is probable that the (mistakenly) low 
estimates of Australia's Aboriginal population levels 

prior to colonization had a significant influence on 
Cleland's views concerning the carrying capacity of 
the southern Australian environment. For example, he 
argued that 'To what extent these areas [south and 
central Australia] were occupied depended primarily 
on the availability of food and water' (Cleland 1966: 
126). Cleland's approach reflects the influence that the 
biological sciences had on his ethnographic work. 
Working largely with medical and biological models, 
Cleland treated the population levels and distribution 
of Aboriginal hunters and gatherers as with any other 
non-human organisms, and as the product of a set of 
environmental determinants, largely independent of 
the cultural dimension. However, it is now widely 
accepted by researchers studying hunters and 
gatherers, that in general, the lack of intense pressure 
exerted by the hunting and gathering mode of 
subsistence is such that food alone would not limit long 
term population growth (see Williams & Hunn 1982). 
Cleland relies on and reinforces an old view of the 
stereotypic hunter and gatherer as a passive food 
collector with little or no control over the environment. 

These stereotypes have been attacked by Hallam 
(1975, 1986) whose description of Aboriginal land use 
patterns in the south-west of Western Australia, an area 
similar in some respects to south-eastern Australia, 
illustrates how the Aboriginal people living here 
actively managed their resources. This region had a 
comparatively large, semi-sedentary population living 
in areas close to their main food resources - for 
example, the swamps where bulrush roots were 
obtained and the 'warran' grounds where yams 
{Dioscorea hastifofia Endl.) were procured. So 
intensive, extensive and successful were the efforts of 
the hunters and gatherers in the exploitation of their 
resources in this area (including firing the vegetation), 
that it is difficult to refer to the Aborigines as passive 
food collectors. Similarly, in Tasmania, Hiatt (1968: 
212, 219) suggests that the burning of the vegetation 
was used by the Aboriginal people there to convert rain 
forest vegetation into sclerophyll forest. Sclerophyll 
forest was a better food-producing environment and its 
encouragement by use of fire is suggested by Hiatt lobe 
a deliberate action. 

Throughout the southern South Australian region, 
burning of the vegetation appears to have been a 
common Aboriginal practice. One report from 1 85 1 in 
a South Australian newspaper describes the problems 
the Port Lincoln land owners of the lower Eyre 
Peninsula had with the Aboriginal people 'burning the 
runs, which is [ the] ...customary mode of hunting game 
...'". Another newspaper report from the same area in 
1841 states: 'Independently of the danger which 
follows in the wake of a tribe of natives carrying fire- 
sticks through ripe grass, two or three feet high, they 
always set tire to scrubby places whenever a small 
patch is found, in order to hunt'.' 2 



Fiom the Adelaide area, another newspaper records 
that in 1839. an Aboriginal man named Williamy was 
charged with firing the grass in ihe park lands. 
However, he was released due to lack of proof of 
malicious intent as it was considered by the Aboueuiai 
people 'a necessary and laudable practice annually to 
bum off withered grass on rhcir hunting-grounds ro 
facilitate and hasten the growth of the young crass of 
which the native animals are so fond vJ Finlayson 
states that in Ihe Adelaide Hills, daring early February 
1 837. 'the natives had set fire to the long dry grass lo 
enable them more easily to obtain the animals and 
vermin on which a great oart of their living depends^ 
1 1902-3: 40-1 ). The regular burning off of the Lakes 
area of the Lower Murray region was apparently a 
sufficient threal Lo die local farmers for it to he reported 
En the Aboriginal Protector's Report v\~ 1830. Here u 
was noted some land owners were offering incentives 
in the form of goods, to Aboriginal people it they couid 
get through the dry season without causing fl serious 
bushfue 4 . These accounts and others indicate thai the 
burning off of the vegetation in southern South 
Australia frequently resulted from Ahongttal acttviiy. 

Although most accounts of firing are linked by 
observers lo hunting practices, it is possible lhat 
Aboriginal people also used fire to open up the country 
by rcmovuig the understory to alJow easici travelling 
and to promote the growth ol grass for £ame species. 
Eyre remarked at length on the wide, open plains to the 
north ol Adelaide, He appears lo have been puzzled by 
them, particularly when then: were remnants of large 
growths of timber nearhy. In oiher places, the dense 
malice type vegetation had pockets or grassy openings 
lhat to Eyre were like 'oases ol Ihe desert', llyre 
suggests that 'the plains found interspersed among the 
dense scrubs may probably have been occasioned by 
fires, purooseW or accidentally lighted by the natives in 
their wanderings'.,. (IK43, I: foi It is interesting lo 
note that Eyre considered these grass plains to be an 
improvement on the dense 6'uu ahptiis dumosa scrub 
as they provided feed for his horses and were easier to 
Iraverse. Many of the food-plan' species discussed in 
this paper would benefit from Ihe opening of the 
understory and Die huild-up ol ash produced Irom 
regular burnings, Iillis discusses Ihe role o! lirt: ft 
producing the open grasslands in the Adelaide area, 
staling that 'Ceiialnly theuicasuuuundutgthepicseni 
site of metropolitan Adelaide was ihe scene of 
deliberate Aborginal environmental manipulation, 
almost entirely dependent upon the use ol tire' ( 1976; 
(13)i Aboriginal people would not only have realised 
that they had an effect on the ability of the civvironmeni 
!o produce food, but also appear lo hflVB actively used 
firing, a,s a resource management tool 

Another important part of rcsourcr management 
was the replanting of tubers. I his has been recorded 
from several parrs of Australia. Gregory < ISS7: \M > 
states thai the Aborigines of the west coast of Australia, 

invariably rc-insert ihe head of the yams so as to he 
sureofa future crop'. Irvinc(l970: 27H| describes the 
practice in the above record as cultivation. Tindale 
1 1 977: 349) records a similar practice by die women of 
Binders Island, Queensland. Batey (cited in Frankcl 
1982: 44) records lhat in Sunbury, VieU>ria, there 
existed numerous mounds which were caused by die 
'accidental gardening' that occurred while gathering 

"my rang* [Mkroseris scapi$era as identified by 
Frankel ). fiatey suggested thai Aboriginal people must 
have realised the effect they were having on the 
numbers of edible roots in the ground. Digging would 
have helped disperse and replant the undersized tuheis 
lor collecting in the future. 

The evidence, both direct and by extension from 
similar environments, seems ED point lo Aboriginal 
people in southern Australia, taking much more active 
role in the use of their land and icsourees lhan earlier 
observers such as Cleland suggested. 

Coni I i mok 

Subterranean plant parts appear to have piovided a 
varied and reliable source ifl food lor the Aborigines of 
southern Australia. Certain species were abo 
important for other hunting and gathering activities as 
they provided librc for net bags and tishiug nets. Other 
species were used as medicines, narcotics, sources of 
water and as pigment. Work with contemporary 
Aboriginal people from me Lower Murray and South 
Cast regions ol South Australia is significantly 
increasing our knowledge of plant root usainv 
Although tlics type of udorrnaiion does not provide 
accurate quantitative use data, it can provide an 
indication of the value certain species could have had 
in the ore-European subsistence pattern. The view pul 
forth by Cleland suggesting the insignificance of 
.southern vegetation types m providing food is not 
supported by the evidence provided here. Cleland may 
have been reslneled lo his collection of data by the briel 
lhat only 'miditionaT Aborigines could supply data on 
the uses of plants and Data from 
contemporary Abonguial .sources cited in this paper 
suggest that this is incorrect. A (tiller and more accurate 
vtcw of Aboriginal use of the Australian environment 
may be gained by focusing oil Aborigines as resource 
manager's instead ol as merely passive inhabitants of 
their landscape, 


I well lo thank the member s o i ihe Abongi i ia I 
communities n, soiitlieoi Smalt Ausiralia who gave 
IlilootiHtton tjoiicemiiig Aboriginal plum use and who helped 
to locale and identity the r.peete.v involved. In particular. 
Henry and looq Konkmc ot ttaukkan-. Oeonjte Trevorrow of 
Mc-niiigie, and Ron Burnley and Lola Cameron- Bonney of 
Kingston showed much interest hi recording aspects of their 
culliire and were very generous In the hospitality shown 



Sieve Hemming anil myself on OUT field-trips. I am grateful 
10 Robert Foster who assisted me hi locating particular 
fl7$tt)rica] accounts. In preparing the Jala and ideas in this 
paper, I owe much to Steve Hemming. Comments on drafts 
of this paper were also ived from PcierSuiion, Beth Goit 
and Peter Latz. Jenni "lliurmer prepared the figure. 

Enonoti s 

1 . S A. Museum specimen AfiR3 1 1 Cleland collection. 

2. All references In this paper to contemporary Aboriginal 
di-M iipimns and information comes J'rom notes and tapes 
made on fieldrrips mine South East and the Lower Murray by 
Steve Hemming mid my sell at various times during 1986 unci 
1^87. These are lodged in the S.A. Museum Archives. 

3 -S.A. Museum specimen A2084. Symes & Lewis 

4 S.A. Museum specimen A! 776 Advertiser To. 
cu I lew ion. 

*» S.A. Museum specimen A (78 1 .Source unknown. 

o. S A Museum Kpeennens A 1 778 & A27233. Thorup & 
Wail collection, S.A. Museum specimen AI77M. Tate 

7. S.A. Museum specimen A 1777, Phithpson collection. 

8. S.A. Museum specimen A683U4 Cleland eolleetion. 

l > httci view with Mi.U.W, Batty concerning early Victor 
Harbor hUtory (ft/] i/xo) s.L Hemming & p_a. Clarke. 

in, Transaction.'- of the SuTtsrical Sih iety, South 
Australian I I foft. IK4.\ f.p. W-12. 

il.Ohswvn J| May m\ page 5 

12 Adelaide Cht'tmu It and S An ft Uterm y Hnntrf tl 
Dew 1841 pfl^e J 

13. Aow/w AuMrahan (iuznif ut,,J Colonial Record ** 
Manh 1839. page 7 

14 ^original Protectors Rcpon Srntth Australian 
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byD. Hirst 


Lycosa gilberta, L. molyneuxi, L. phyllis, L. stirlingae and Dolomedes habilis were described by 
H.R. Hogg in 1905 from specimens sent to England from the South Australian Museum. Type 
specimens are lodged in the South Australian Museum, with the exception of Lycosa stirlingae, the 
whereabouts of which is unknown (McKay 1985). In the same work, McKay also stated the 
whereabouts of three female Lycosa habilis types as unknown, the generic change having been 
made by Rainbow (1911). Recently two of these types were located in the South Australian 
Museum collection and have been found to be Dolomedes. 





I.ycosa iiiihvrtd, L.motyrwtai. L phylfis. L. stiriin- 
$04 and DolimwdcK habilis were described by H. R. 
I loi»» in 19W from specimens sent lo England from 
the South Australian Museum. Type specimens are 
lodged in the South Australian Museum, with the 
exception o\~ Ly<t>sa sfirlin^ae. Ihe whereabouts of 
winch is unknown (McKay 19K5). hi Ihe same work. 
McKay also stated the whereabouts ot three female 
Lyt(K\it huhilis types as unknown, Ihe generic change 
having been made by Rainbow (I*) 1 1 ), Recently two 
of IhcsC types were located in the Soulh Australian 
Museum colleclion and have been found ro be 

The vials contain labels giving the locality as 
'GiibCTt RiVfcr\ or "Gilbert River. Riverina'. the slate 
being omitted. Hogg, in his introduction, slated that 
they were 4 chiell> from the north side of the River 
Murray in New South Wales 1 . This locality has not 
been questioned by subsequent revisers I Rainbow 
I4| I; McKay 1975, 1 9X5 (.although both authors had 
appeared to be in doubt over Ihe type locality of 
IjVCOSU xilhirftt: Rainbow's being "Australia*, while 
McKay ( 1 W5 ) recorded the locality as 'Gilbert River. 
Riverina. S.A.\ all other type localities of the species 
above being given as from New Soulh Wales. 

During a routine check of localities I found there 
was a Gilbert River near Riverton in Soulh Australia. 
Knowing also thai A. Molyneux. the collector of the 
above material, had sent specimens to the South Aus- 
tralian Museum from nearby Tanunda. my suspicions 
WCIt aroused, from further enquiries t learni that A. 
Molyneux had lived and worked in that area ol South 
Australia. Subsequent searches of the relevant maps. 

the Gazetteer and enquiries to both Ihe South Austra- 
lian Geographical Names Board and the Geographical 
Names Board of New South Wales failed to show the 
existence of a Gilbert River in the Riverina of New 
South Wales. 

Il is postulated that 'Riverina* on the labels is a 
misspelling of R iverton. This small town is situated on 
the Gilbert River, a tributary of the Light River in 
South Australia. AD type specimens referred to above 
are here considered to have been collected from Gil- 
bert River. Riverton, South Australia. OHIO'S 
138 D 45*E). 

As McKay (1975) considered the 'Gilbert River 
area is of special significance in the clarification of 
species within Ihe '"leuckartii" group', this new light 
on the type locality should provide formore fruitful re- 
search in the future on that group of woll spiders. 


I wish to express mv thanks lo Hanv Mincham for informa- 
tion regarding A. Molyneux. 

Ri:H-kK\< is 

HOGG, H, R. 1005. On some South Australian spiders of ihe 

family Lycosidae. prat. Ami &m. Lotnl. 1 905 : 5W-590, 
MckAY, R. J. (1975). The wolf spiders ol Australia (Arn- 

neae: Lyeosidac): n. The letukurlii group. Mem, Q t J Xfus 

17 (2>: 319-328. 
McKAY. R. J. ( 1985). Lyeoxidae, In Ami Cut. Au\r. 3: 7V 

KK. Australian Government Printing Service, Canberra. 
RAINBOW. W.J. (1911 >. A census ot Australian Aranetdac. 

Rec.At4st.Mu.\.9: 107-319. 

I) HIRST, Somh Australian Museum, Nmlti terrace. Adelaide. South Australia. 5<KX). Kn V . Wv V/,/.v. 12 | 1 1; 77 





MAY 1988 
ISSN 0081-2676 




Fossil mollusc type specimens in the South Australian Museui 


I, Polyplacophora 

On Australian Hersiliidae (/ 
Supplement to the revision ( 

da: Araneae 

e South 


C. H. S. WATTS ' 

Revision o( Australian Halipilidae (Coleoptera 



K" a 



Osteological ditlerences ol the axi 
1845) and Vomhatiis ursinus (Sha 


Australites from the v 

skeleton between Utsiorhinus laiifrons (Owe 
1KO0) (Marsupialia: Vombatidae) 

e. Northern Tc 

\ ( ) I. M.WHITE: 


The archaeology of the Cooper Basin: report on f 

63 P. A. CLARKE 

x>neinai use 01 suotcrrane; 



Amended type localitie 

H, R. Hoeein 1905 

parts in southern South Aus 



tecies of spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) ties 

^ 1 

: :- fj 


■ A 

'ublished by the South Australian Museum. Nortl 
7 errace. Adelaide. South Australia 5000 


h Australia 5000 










^M # 




.-- *'i 




■ ■ 


\* «t 









■».'! ,fV > 








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■ W 








.S ' 











byN. G. Strommer 


Descriptions of three species of Nabis Latreille and and seven species of Stenonabis Reuter are 
presented. Two new species, Stenonabis henriettae sp. nov. and Stenonabis morningtoni sp. nov., 
are described and illustrated. A key to Nabis and Stenonabis is provided. 




.STROM Ml* R, N.Ci 19*8. (ienera Nahis UirMfl and Stenonahis Kcuter (Hemiptera: Nabidac) 
in Australia, tftv. V .4nw. M«.v. JJ0; 79-93. 

Descriptions of ihrcc species Of Nahis I atreille and fceveri specie* of Stenonuhts Renter dre 
presented. Two new species, Stenonuhts henrtettae sp. nov. and Sienonabis mornin.iituni so, nov,, 
■at described and illustrated, A key to fV4#/i Olid Stenonoltis species is provided. 

NjO. Stnumner, W Canterbury Road, Heathmont, Melbourne, Victoria 3135. Manuscript received 
12 May 1988. 

First investigations and preliminary descriptions 
of the Australian species of Nabis Latreille and 
Sfenonabis Reuter were done by D\ I.M. kerzhner 
(l%9). His work was mainly based on the maierial 
01" I he South Australian Museum, Adelaide 

Additional material tor the present paper was 
supplied by the Queensland Museum, Brisbane 
(QM); Entomology Department, Queensland Uni- 
versity, SI l-iicia(HUQ); Australian National Insect 
Collection, Canberra (ANIC); Western Australian 
Museum, Perth (WAM); Australian Museum, Syd- 
ney (AM); Museum and An Galleries of the North- 
ern Territory. Darwin (NTM); Zoological Museum 
dci Hutribold-Uaivetsitat, Berlin, DDR (ZBM). 

Other abbreviations or the Museums: AMNH — 
American Museum ol Natural History, New York, 
I ISA; HMNH - British Museum Natural History; 
/.IN — Zoological Institute, Leningrad, USSR. 

The common species Nabis bifor/njs Bergroih. 
previously known only from New Zealand (Ker- 
/hner l%9), is here recorded from Australia. The 
maeropterous form of Nobis fnttemus kerzhner is 
recorded and described. The female genitalia in 
Nabis biformis Bcrgroth and \abisfraremus kcrzh- 
net are illustrated lor the First time. Both macro- 
and brachyprerous forms of these two species are 
redescribed with the use of I he additional matetial 
from other Museums in Australia. Nabis kmberiiti 
Reuter, previously mistdentified in Australia as 
Nabis capsiforntis Gcr mar (kerzhner 1981, Wood- 
ward 1982. Woodward & Strommcr 1982) is re- 

Out of 11 species of Stenonabts known in 
Australia so far, 2 specie*, are newly described, 1 
species iS. geniatlaias Hrichson) is described fully 
in the first lime, 4 oilier species iS. imitator 
ketzhnei, S. roseus Kerzhner, S. nnidiiailis Ker/it- 
ner, V darwini kerzhner) are redescribed with the 
use of additional material; the remaining 3 species 
[S. communis Kerzhner, S, robust us Kerzhner, and 

.S. austraiicus Kerzhner) are presented in Kerzhner 
(1969). New illustrations are given for the female 
genitalia in Stenonabts geniculaim fcriehson, and 
male genitalia in Sfenonabis roseus kerzhner, Sten- 
onabts darwini kerzhner and Stenonabts nltidicolils 
Kerzhner. A previously unrecorded, brachypterou*-- 
form of Stenonabts mtidieot/is Kerzhner is 

Cienus Nabis l.alreille, 1802 

Type-species: Cimex vagans Pabrieius, I7K7 = 
Citnex ferus Ljnnaeus, 1758, designated by West- 
wood, 1840. 

Body rather narrow, with sides parallel or slightly 
widening in middle of abdomen, especially in 
females, Head margins behind eyes nearly parallel, 
ocelli set rather wide apart. Antennae without dark 
rings; legs often with dark patches or short lines 
on femora, but without dark or black rings, fro- 
not urn without punctaiion and with brown pattern 
on fore lobes, comprised of series of irregular- 
ly-shaped and sized brown patches. Conncxtvunt 
yellowish, very rarely with dark patches, separated 
underneath from abdominal stcrniles by a groove 
and elevated in middle part o\' abdomen in a cylin- 
drical form. 

Paramere variously shaped, but most often with 
body of blade semicircular; aedeagus with a variable 
number of sclerites; vagina symmetrica! or asym- 
metrical, with 1-2 parietal glands*. 

Macroptcrous and brachyptcrous forms, but he- 
melytra nearly always reaching end of abdomen 
The genus includes subgenera Nttbis, Tmpiconubt.\ 
and Reduvtolus, differentiated from one another by 
the form of the genitalia; subgenus Reditvtolus is 
not represented in tropical areas (Kerzhner 1981). 

At the suggestion of Dr l.M. kerzhner, the two 
Australian species of the genus Nabis- have been 
placed in the new sub-genus Austrulonatris. Besides 
these two closely related species (N. b(fonnts and 



N.Jraternus) discussed below, the subgenus includes 
A/, farvatas Kerzhner from New Caledonia. 

KL> in AliSTRAIIAN Sl>R It s U» ;\ Atn\ 

1 — Always maeroptcrous. Lengih of lore fcxflQfd. 
less than 2.3 mm. Aedeagus with 3 sclcntcs. 
Vagina with a dorsal suck covering, base of com- 
mon Overduct tSubg. Tropiconabis) ........ 

------- ,\abts kinhergii Reuter 

Mostly brachyptemus. Length of fore femora 
2.5-3.1 mm. Aedeagus wilb numerous similar 
.sclcritcs in basal pari and with 4 or 5 dissimilar 
sclcntcs in apical part Vagina without dorsal 
sack (Subg. Austndonubis) 2 

2 — Aedeagus with 5-sderircs in apical part; vagina 
symmetrical, wiih rounded or flat base; walls of 
vagina without sclerosed bands . . 

...... . - . Nabh hi for mis Berg roth 

— Aedeagus wirh 4selcr»lcs in apical part. Vagina 
sJighrly asymmetrical, with cone shaped base and 

scleroti/ed bands in right wail . . . . . 

Nahis fraternus Kerzhner 

Auslraloriabis subgen. no*. 

PfaMs hiformis itergr.-Gruppe'* Kerzhner. tS>69: 346. 

Type-species; Reduv'tattut hiformis Bereroth, W27. 

Species with pronounced wing reduction: in most 
specimens of ,\\ hiformis and in all known speci- 
mens of N. fraternus, hcmclytra about twite the 
length of scutellum, without membrane, while N, 
lun<utus is apterous. Disc of paramere nearly semi 
circular, with pointed apev; aedeagus with a row of 
numerous similar sclcrotizcd plates in basal half and 
some additional sclerhes in apical half (4-5), vagina 
without sack covering it$ opening, wilh or -without 
selcroti/cd bands in the wall 

Distinguished from the othei subgenera by the 
unique sclcroti/ed structures in the basal part of 
the aedeagus 

Nahis hiformis (Bergroih) 
(Figs la, b, 4 d) 

Redaviolus bd'ortnti Bergrorh, 1927. 6K1. 

? Nahis h'neatus Hutton, 1904, 372 pp. (non Dabl- 

born, IH5I). 

Nahis hiformis ket /.liner, M6J*{ Mfi-347, Fig, 43. 

Macmpferous form 

Ih'ad: pale yellow with dark areas behind eyes 
and ocelli, pale brown longitudinal stripe between 
ocelli and eyes and broad dark brown median stripe 
beneath, clypeus brownish. Antcnmfers brown, an- 

ennal segments brownish yellow, 5ejjtnen{ tl tfftfi 
brown apex; rostral segments I and If pale yellow 
beneath, brown dorsally, segments III and IV 
brownish. Eyes and ocelli reddish brown. Short 
shury yellow bans, becoming denser behind eyes and 
ocelli and a few longer ones dorsally; medium sized 
and rather dense hairs beneath. Sides behind eyes 

Thorax: pronoturn yellowish with dark brown 
markings: broad median longitudinal stripe becom- 
ing narrower on collar and hind lobe; brown pattern 
on tore lobe and addilional pale brown parallel 
stripes on each side of median one on hind lobe. 
Small dark dots on collar and hind lobe. Pronoturn 
as long as head, laierally distinctly sinuate, with 
base about 2.5 or more times broader than apex; 
fore lobe slightly comes, 1.2 times longer than hind 
lobe, latter strongly declivous, forming an angle 
with lore lobe. Scutellum large, wider than lone, 
with pointed apex, dark brown, with 2 yellow 
rounded patches on sides. Heinclylra reaching, end 
of abdomen, corium and clavus covered with short 
pale hairs, corium with prominent yellow veins and 
dark clavus; membrane hyaline, transparent, with 
distinctive dark veins. Coxae yellowish with dark 
brown patches nasally, both anteriorly and post- 
eriorly; femora pale yellow with touch of pinkish 
tones and brown markings: 2 rows of short trans- 
verse parallel stripes (15-16) laterally and inegulat 
row of dots dot sally; tibiae yellow with brown apices 
and bases. Legs covered with pale, ruediuni-si/cd 
hairs, becoming dense vcmrally and with sparse 
long ones laterally and dorsally; tibiae with 2 rows 
of dark, very small leelh ventrally. 

Abdomen: brownish beneath, covered with shot t 
decumbent hairs. 

Brachyptemus form 

Hevd: as in macropterous form. 

Thorax: hind lobe of pronoturn pale yellow with 
indistinct additional stripes on sides of median onc; 
punctuation on collar and hind lobe of pronoturn 
indistinct; pronoturn a little shorter than head, at 
sides slightly sinuate behind middle, at base 2 or 
less limes as broad as at apex; hind lobe not forming 
angle with fore lobe, 2,5 times shorter than fore 
lobe. Scutellum smaller than in macropterous form, 
a little wider than long. Hernelytra short, more than 
twice as long as scutellum, without membrane; 
outer margin oT corium incurved posteriorly, apical 
angle somewhat distant from lateral margin of 
abdomen, apical margin obliquely .straight, forming 
right angle with apical margin of outer corium. 

Abdomen: brown with yellow patches on 
conueAJvum beneath or yelJow with brown median 
stripe dorsally. 

Male fitnualia: parameres large, with body of 
blade broad and apex curved (I*'ig. la, b); aedeagus 



with numerous similar scierites (plates) in basal pari 
and with 5 dissimilar scierites; in apical part, with 
2 of them dentate {\%. in Kerzhner 1969), 

Female genitalia: vagina symmetrical, with roun- 
ded or flat base; base of vagina without sclerotized 
bands; parietal glands asymmetrical in shape and 
unequal in si/e, with their posterior parts (loops) 
lying on dorsal side and anterior loops on ventral 
side of vagina; right gland larger, with dorsal and 
ventral loops of equal size, left gland much smaller, 
with ventral loop much larger than dorsal one (Fig, 
lc, d). 

Tvpe materia/ 

Syntypic series from New Zealand, examined by 
Kcr/hner (1969) — I 9 , maeropicroii-s Henderson, 
Auckland, 14 Mar. 1922, ad Lu/.ta (Albizzia?), 
Myers; 1 9 ..brachyptcrous, Heme Hay, Auckland, 
24 Feb. 1919, G. Howcrs; I 9. brachyptcrous, 
Whangarei, 18 Feb. 1923, J.G. Myers; 1 V\ brachy- 
ptcrous, N, Auckland, Peu.f?), T.R. Harris (all 

description of the macro- and brachypterous forms 
together with the description of the female genitalia 
arc prepared from material examined from various 
locations in Australia. 

Ixamination of the material from Australia 
shows that N. bi/ormis is a rather common species 
widely distributed in New South Wales, Australian 
Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. The 
species is very similar in appearance and in most 
measurements to N fratemas Kerzhner, and dis- 
tinguished from the latter by its longer legs, 
antennae and rostrum, but it is very difficult to 
separate the two species without comparing their 
genitalia. The male genitalia of N, biformis differ 
from those of N. fruternus by the presence of 2 
additional dentate scierites in the distal part of the 
aedeagus, by Ihe noticeably broader body of the 
blade of the paramere and its curved apex. The 
difference in the female genitalia is not as marked 
as in Ihe male, but the vagina of A/, biformis lacks 
the sclerosed bands in the right wall and has a 
rounded base (ovally protruding in K fraiertws). 

Other materia/ examined 

Tasmania: 1 a, brachypterous, 7 mis \V. 
Ri'sebury, 18 Feb. 1963, I.F.I*. Common & M.S. 
Upton (AN1C); I C\ brachypterous, Lake Dobson 
Rd,. 8 Feb. 1955, T.F.. Woodward, bracken fern 
(QM); I V, maeroptcrous, Devonport, 16 Feb. 1967, 
G. Monteith (QM); 1 V , brachypterous,. Waratah, 
A.M. lea, former paratype of Nobis frawmus 
Kerzhner; New South Wales: I o\ brachypterous, 
Barrington Tops, via Salisbury, 28-30 Dec. 1965. 
T. Weir (QM); I 9 , macroptcrous, 1 9 . 
brachypterous, Mt Dromedary, nr Narooma, 2100 
fu 4 Feb, 1969, M.S. Upton, Taylor, Cardale 
(ANIC): 3 9, brachypterous, Pilot Flill, Bago, 
Forest below (?) T 12 Mar. 1957 (ANIC); Australian 
Capital Territory: I o\ brachypterous, Blundells, 
31 Jan. 1970, E.F. Riek (ANIC); Victoria: 1 o\ 
brachyptcrous, Fiankston, Melb., 17 Jan. 1955, T.F. 
Woodward (QMl; 2 v. brachypterous, Ucech 
Forest 47 1W7. R.V. Fyfe (ANIC). 

In Kerzhner (1969), 


N. biformis was described from New Zealand by 
Rergroth (1927) from 3 females, but he did not 
examine the genitalia. Kerzhner (1969) re-examined 
supposedly the same syntypes together with addit- 
ional material from New Zealand and provided 
measurements both macro- and brachypterous 
tonus and drawings of the male genitalia Fhe above 

FIGURE 1- NQbtS hij(trtni\ Bcrgr.: a paramere, lateral 
view; h — |fie "•amir, Irnrn below; e — vayina, view from 
above; d — I he :.ame, from helow.. 


N.i... MROVlMtK 

fSabifi Iruumus Kcizhner 
(Figs 2a, b, e, d) 

Nuhis frolernm Kcrzhncr, 1969: 347-349, Fig. 44. 

MuiTvpterous form 
Head: pale yellow wuh biownish areas in front 

01 and behind eyes; longitudinal median stripe pale 
brown between ocelli and eyes, lading toward base 
id elypeus; broad median stripe beneatb; clypeus 
and antennifets dirty yellow. Antennae brownish 
yellow, segment II with brown apex; rostral seg- 
ments I and II pale yellow vcntraily, brown dorsally; 
segments III and IV brownish. Eyes shiny, silvery; 
oeelli yellow with red rim. 

Thorax: pronotum dirty yellow with pale brown 
median longitudinal stripe becoming narrower on 
hind lobe and with indistinct brown pattern on fore 
lobe: small dark dois on collar and hind lobe. Pro- 
notum a little longer than head, at sides distinctly 
sinuate behind middle, at base aboul 2,3 times 
broader than apex. Tore lobe nearly Hal, 13 times 
longer than hind lobe, latter .strongly dcelivous, 
forming an angle with lore lobe. Seutellum yellow 
with wic*e dark brown median stripe becoming 
narrow toward apex and with irregular brown areas 
basally and laterally. Coxae yellow with brown 
bases; femora pinkish yellow with brown markings; 

2 rows of short transverse parallel stripes (12-13) 
and an irregular row of dark brown dois dorsally; 
tibiae yellow with brown apices, lore tibiae with 2 
dark rings on basal 1/2. all tibiae with 2 longi- 
tudinal rows of small leeth ventrally. Wemelytra 
dirty yellow, reaching end of abdomen or little 
shorter, coriuin with prominent yellow veins and 
small dark dots basally and on clavus; membrane 
hyaline; transparent, with indistinct veins; eoriutn 
and clavus covcied with short decumbent hairs. 

Abdomen: yellowish beneath, with brown median 
stripe; connexivum brownish, with pinkish tones. 

Hrathyptemus form 

Head; as in macroptcrous form, but with dark 
brown eves and occili; brownish median stripe bet- 
ween eyes and ocelli widening toward base of 

Thorax: pronotum with dark brown median 
stupe nor narrowing on hind lube and less prom- 
inent punctation on collar and hind lobe; fore lobe 
convex, raised above collar, hind lobe not forming 
angle with tore lobe. Sculellum smaller than in mae- 
ropierotis form, a lit tie longer than wide, legs 
without pinkish tones, fore tibiae without visible 
fillgS on basal 1/2 Hcmelytra very short, dirty 
yellow, without visible dots on base of eoriuiii and 
clavus, more than twice as lone as sculellum; mem- 
brane absent 

Abdomen: dark brown beneath, with yellow med- 
ian stripe, yellowish brown dorsally, with brown 
median longitudinal stripe and yellow connexivum. 

Male genitalia: paramcre large, with relatively 
narrow body of blade and slightly curved apex (Figs 
2a, b); aedeagus with 4 dissimilar selerires in apical 
part and numerous similar plates in basal parr (Fig. 
in Kcrzhner 1969). 

Female genitalia: vagina slightly asymmetrical, 
with cone shaped base and scleroti/ed bands on 
right wall; parietal glands asymmetrical and of un- 
equal si/e, left gland much smaller, with its ventral 
loops larger than dorsal ones (Fig, 2c d). 

Type material 

Holorype — I a, brachypterous, Tasmania, 
Waddamana, R. Ouse, below outlet. 20 Feb. 1936, 
Parker (BMNH), paratypes — 3 9. brachypterotrs, 
the same location (BMNH, /IN, not examined), but 
the fourth paralypc, 9, brachypterous, Tasniani.i, 
Warmah, A.M. Lea (HAMA). has been examined and 
found to be a specimen of Nabih biformis. 

Other material examined 

New South Wales. I 9, maeropterou.s, Byron 
Bay, 25 Nov. 197J, N. Monroe <KUQ); Tasmania: 
) y, nrachyptepjus, Miena, Great I ., 17 Feb. 195 S 
(FLO); I tr, braehyprcroLis, Dtlck C r., nr Dee, 12 
Feb. 1955, [.fc. Woodward [tiVQ), 


Maempterousform: head length 1.40, prcocular 
part 070, postoeular 0.25, length of eyes 0,45, width 
across eyes 0.90, interocular distance 0,40, width in 
front of eyev 0.45, behind eyes 0.60. Length antennal 
segments I J. 10, II 1.75, U\ 1,75, [V 1.45; length 
rostral segments II 1.10. Ill L0. tV 0.45. Median 
length of pronotum 1.50, collar 0.25, fore lobe 0,70, 
hind lobe 0.55; anterior width 70, posterior width 
1.60; width of .scutellum 0.90, length 0.80. Lenglh 
fore femora 2.60, tibiae 2,00, mid lemora 2.25 r tibiae 
I *5, hind femora 3.35, tibiae 3.60. Length of body 
8.7 mm, width across hernelytra 1 7 mm ( 9 from 
material examined). 

tiraehvpterous form: ill Ker/hncr (J969) 


Nobis frarernus- Ker/h. is a rather rare species 
known so far from New South Wales and Tasmania 
and is lepresented both by macro- and brachyp- 
terous forms. It is very similar to A', htformts and 
is separated most convincingly by the construction 
of the genitalia. 

Subgenus Tropiconafots Ketvhner, 1968 

Type-species (original designation). Hfibh 

capsiformis Clcrrnar, 1938. 



I IGUIU 2. Kuhtyfryi'-rnu^ Ker/h-' a — pfuamerc-, lateral 
view; b — the same, from below; c - vagina, view from 
above; d — ihc same, from below, 

Macropterous species, with wings extending well 
beyond end of abdomen. Paramere small, with 
semicircular blade; aedeagus wilh Iwo larger 
sclerites pointing in opposite directions, and third, 
smaller one; vagina with oval sack covering base 
of common oviduct dorsally, with <A'. cupsiformis) 
or without (N. kirtbergii) division on (eft and right 
parts. The subgenus is represented in tropics and 
subiropiesand includes, besides A. caps [for mis and 
/V. kinbergit, /V maoncus Walker (New Zealand) 
and AC cottsimtt/is Rcuter (Ecuador, Peru, Galap- 
agos Is). In Australia there is only one species, N. 

S'ahis kinhergii Reuier 
(Figs 3a, b, c) 

Nabts kmbergii Reulcr, 1872: 90 (part) 
Sasfrapuciu nigrolifieuta Distant, 1920: 159 (syn. 
wiih W kinbermi by kerzhner, 1981). 
Nuba ni&rolinetua: Cheesman, 1927: 158 
Nubis lusmanicus Remanc, 1964: 257 (syn. with N. 
nigrolineotus by Ker^hncr 1969). 

Nabs rtigrotineatus: Ker/hner, 1969: 354-^55 

fropiconabis nigro/ineatus: Ker/hner, I96S: 852; 

Woodward, 1982: 143-146. 

Nabis (7'roptconabis) kinbergit: Ker/hner, 1981' 


Nobis capsiformis: auct, non Gc-rmar: non 

Woodward & Strommer, 1982: 306. 


Head: dull, with shiny elypeus and antennilers, 
yellow wilh dark brown areas in front of and behind 
eyes and with median longitudinal stripe between 
ocelli and eyes, broadening loward elypeus; anten- 
nifcrs and base of elypeus brownish. Head beneath 
brown greyish or greyish while, or head entirely pale 
yellow with darkish areas in front of and behind 
eyes and antennilers; pale beneath. Eyes and ocelli 
shiny, reddish brown, yellowish brown or silvery 
brown. Antennae brownish yellow or yellowish 
brown wilh segment I yellow ventrally. Rostral 
segment I yellow with brown base, segment II and 
111 yellowish brown, yellow ventrally, segment IV 
with brown ape.\. Head covered with short pale 
hairs dorsally and on antennae and rostrum, be 
coming longer and denser ventrally on elypeus and 
rostral segment I. 

Thorax: pronotum dull, yellow, dirty yellow or 
pale greyish yellow, with dark brown markings: 
brown median longitudinal stripe, becoming much 
narrower on collar and hind lobe, brown pattern 
on fore lobe and very indistinct additional pale 
brown stripes, two on each side of median one; 
where pronotum very pale, only pattern on fore lobe 
visible. Sculcllum yellow, orange yellow or pale 
yellow with broad brown or darkish median stripe 
reaching or not reaching Us apex. Pronotum longct 
than head, at sides slightly sinuate behind middle, 
at base a 1.8-2.1, 9 2.2-2.3 times broader than 
at apex. Fore lobe slightly convex; hind lobe slighth 
raised above fore lobe. Coxae yellow or pale yellow; 
legs entirely yellow or brownish yellow; sometimes 
fore femora wilh row of short horizontal parallel 
brown stripes externo-laterally; fore and mid tibiae 
with 2 rows of very small brown teeth ventrally, 
Memelytra translucent, sometimes transparent, dirty 
yellow or pale yellow to whitish, exceeding end ol 
abdomen by up to 1/2 t heir length; corium with 
prominent yellow or pale yellow veins, these some- 
limes with irregular brown markings; clavus brown- 
ish, dirty yellow or pale yellow with brown apex, 
with short decumbent hairs; membrane wilh brown 
ish veins. Ventrally thorax yellow wilh dark brown 
meso- and meta-stcrnum and with dark brown 
longitudinal stripe on mesopleura becoming much 
narrower on mcraplcura; sometimes entirely pale 
yellow, without brown markings or with very pale 



Abdomen: yellowish brown wilh yellow 
connexivutn and median stripe, or sometimes 
entirely pale yellow with or without median stripe; 
covered with small decumbent haiis. 

Male genitalia; paramerc with innet margin 
angularly incised at junction of shank and blade, 
apex of blade curved (Fie 3a), aedeagus with 3 
sclerites, one of them large, next to very small oner, 
pointing in same direction, third sclcritc of medium 
size, pointing in opposite direction to other two (Fig. 

Female gent tulia; v&gma entirety membranous, 
thin-waited. Without division into right and left 
lobes (in contrast to N. capsiformis. Fig. 3c). 

Type material 

Lectorype of kinbergii (designated by kerzlmer. 
19X1) t 9. 'Sydney'. Kinberg, Naiurhistoriska 
RiVsmuseci, Stockholm; Holotype of nigrofineata, 
V. Central New Caledonia* 17.\1.1'*I4 ( P.IX 
Montague (HMMtl); Holotype of lasmanicus. ff, 
Tasmania, Kin£ I,. Lea, Zool. Mus., Helsinki 
University, paratypes from Bismarck Is, Ausiral'3 
and Fill (the same Museum) and in Dr R. Remane's 
collection (Muhrburg/ Latin, BRD>, 

Oihet material examined 

Northern Territory: 1 o\ Magcla Cr.\ 
Queensland: I o\ Lake ldamea, Glenormisfon Si, 
I 9. Normanlon, t o\ Mouiiuglon, I 9, 
CunnamuJla; New South Wales: I 9, Upper 
Williams R-; South Australia: 1 tf, J 9, L, Tyre, 
I tf, I y, Wirrcanda Cn, 1 cf. nr Victory Well. 
Everard Fk , I cr, Athetstone, 1 a, 1 9, Ml. Lofty. 
1 9, Coward Spring, I o* f Jirry's Well; Fiji: 1 9: 
New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), 1 o\ I 9 (specimens 
from various collections in Australia). 


Head length cr LOO-1.05, 9 1.05-1.10, preocular 
part o\ 9 0.50-0 55, postoeular part y 0.15-0.20, 
9 0.20, length of eyes cr 0.30-0.35, 9 35; width 
across eye* Of 0.70-0.80, 9 U.75-0-NO, intcroL-nlar 
distance o- 0.35 ^O.V/, 9 0.35-0.40, width in front 
o\' eyes a 0.40, v 0.40-0.45, behind eyes ■ 
0.50^}.55, 9 0.55, width of eyes Cf 0.17-0.20. 9 
0.22. Length antennaJ segments I o* I Q5-I 20, 9 
0.90-1.05, It V L60-1.80, 9 145-1.80, UJ cr 
1,65 -1,70, 9 LSO-t.60, tV a 0.90 LOO, y 0.90 
Length rostral seemeTUs It cr 0.85, 9 J-00, HI & 
0.85, 9 1.00, IV <? 0.40, 9 0.40-0.45, Median 
length of pronotum cr 1.10-1.35, 9 1.30-1.40, collar 
a, 9 0.20, fore lobe Of 0.50, 9 0.50-0.55, hind 
lobe cr 0.45-0.60, 9 O.fiO-0.65; anterior width cr, 
9 0.70, posterior width a U0-I.50, 9 1.55-1.60. 
Length or .scutellum o* 0.5S, 9 0.60, width C? 
0.65-0.70, 9 0-75. I ength fore femora cr 2 10-2.15, 
9 2.00-2.05. tibiae Of 1 .60-1 75, 9 1.70-1.75; mid 
femora a- tJS. 9 1.75- 2.10. cr 1.75, 9 1.80; 

hind femora a 275, 9 2 80-3.10, tibiae cr 
3.40-3.50, 9 3.25-3.55. Length of body cr 
7.0-8.7 mm, 9 8.5-9.7 mm; width across hemelytra 
cr 1.4-1.75, 9 1.6 turn (examined material). 


In Auscralhh New Zealand and some islands in 
the Western Pacific, /V, kinherpjt replaces another 
widespread and very similar species N. capsiformis 
Germar (Kcrzhnet 1968, 1969, 1981), with which it 
had been confused in Australia for years (Wood- 
ward 1982, Woodward &Strommcr 1982), Detailed 
examination of the male and female genitalia of 
large numbers of specimens tall previously referred 
to yv, capsiformis) from different regions o\ 
Australia, undertaken by Dr Ret/liner, Dr T.E. 
Woodward and by the present author, convince us 
thai N. kinhergit is one of the most common and 
widespread species of Nabidae in all parts of 
Australia, including Tasmania. 

The species was first recoyjii/.ed as distinct from 
N. capsiformis by Rcmane (1964), who described 
it as N. tasmonicus, LareT it was found that 
Sastrapada nt^rolineattts Distant from New 
Caledonia is not a junior synonym of /V. 
cupsijormis, bui a senior synonym of .V. 
lasmanicus, However, an earlier name N, kinhergit 
Renter, based on a female from Sydney and two 
females from Buenos-Aires, had been svnonymi^ed 
with A. capsiformis until ker/hner (1981 1 designated 
the specimen from Sydney as lectotype, thus making 
N. nigrol'meata a synonym of N, kinber^ii; however, 
the female^ from Buenos-Aires belong to N. 

N kinhergii is very similar in appearance and in 
mosl measurements to fi capsiformis. Comparison 
of N. kinhergii with the description given by Ker/- 
hner (1981) of S. capsiformis shows no significant 
differences. However, there arc obvious differences 
in the male and female genitalia, best seen in a com- 
parison of the aedeagi which have quantitative dif- 
ferences; (he ab.scnec o\ the small hook (sclerite) 
in N- capsiformis; (lie parameres in A', capsiformis 
are concavety and more shallowly excavated than 
in ft kmbemtl The vagina in N. capsiformis is 
distinctly divided into smaller, thick-waJIcd right 
lobe and much larger membranous left lobe, while 
in <V. kihbergti the vagina consists only of the thin- 
walled lobe (Remane 1964, Woodward 1982). 

Genus Sienonabis Keuter, 1980 

Type species {original designation): Convert 
annuticornjs Renter, 1882. 

Body more or less elongated. Head behind evrs 
with approximately parallel sides. Ocelli set wide 



I IGUKF. 3. Nabis kinheryit Reul.: a 

paramere; b 

Antennae and legs long, often with dark rings. 
Collar and hind lobe of pronotum wilh prominent 
punctuation; fore lobe with characteristic pattern 
of brown patches. Connexivum seen from below not 
separated from abdominal segments by impression 
or groove, often wilh dark patches. 

Pararneres of diverse shape, often with complex 
outlines; aedeagus with various set of selerites in 
shape of hooks, plane or dentate plates, etc. Vagina 
of various shape, more often asymmetrical, with 
two parietal glands. 

Majority of species maeropterous, some repre- 
sented both by macro- and brachypterous forms; 
hemelytra sometimes considerably reduced. 

The genus is widely distributed in Australia, 
except for the western regions, 

Ktv 10 tut AtiSlKMIAN SK:C |E5 
OI Sl/KO\\HtS 

1 — Dark median longitudinal stripe on hind lobe 
of pronoium more or less widening toward base; 
hind femora dark apically 2 

— Dark median longitudinal stripe on hind lobe 
ftf pronotum usually not widening toward base; 
if so widening (S. toseus), all lemma not dark 
apically T - 3 

2 — Outer vein of corium (RtM) and cubital vein 
|Cu) t 01 least distally, pink or pinkish or heme* 
jyira short; total length o\ body 6.0-7.6 mm . 
Hitidico/tiM Ker/.hner 

— Veins ot corium without pink tones: macrop- 

tcrous; total length of body 7.75-9.60 mm . - 
darwini Kcrzhner 

3 — All femora yellowish, without dark tones A 
-- Hind or mid femora dark or black 5 

4 — Narrow and long, with yellow or yellowish 
pink body and outer vein of corium bright pink 
oi pink, at least distally; maeropterous; total 
length of body 9.5-10.1 rnm, width across 
hemelytra 1.95-2.15 mm .... roseus ker/huer 

— Broader, with deny yellow body and veins of 
corium without pink tones; maeropterous or 
brachypterous; total length of body 8.0-9.4 mm, 

width across hemelytra 2.0-2.9 mm 

robust us Ker/hner 

5 — Dark median longitudinal stripe on pronotum 
uniformly wide for its whole length 6 

— Dark median longitudinal stripe wider on 
collar and lore lobe and noticeably narrower on 
hind lobe of pronotum 7 

6 — Pronotum with addilional stripes on each side 
o\' median stripe, very indistinct on hind lobe of 
pronotum; brachypterous; total length of bodv 
7.0-7.1 mm genkulatws Eriehson 

— 1-tonotum with additional stripes on each side 
of median stripe, distinct on hind lobe oi 
pronoium; maeropterous; total length of body 
[Or J 8.0 mm tnorningtonl sp. nov. 

7 — Whole body, including head and etypeus, dull; 

total length 7.5-7.9 mm - 

. . auslralivus Kcr/hnei 

— Body not entiiely dull , . - H 

8 — Hind lobe Of pronoium more shiny than fore 
lobe; extreme lateral stripe on hind lobe broad, 
unbroken; one ot two others, closest to median 
stripe, reduced to small patch at base of pro- 
notum; total length of body 6.7-7 J mm . . . 

.... communis Keiv.hncr 

Mind and fore lobes of pronotum equally 
shiny, the rest of body dull, all three additional 
stripes on each side of hind lobe noticeable, but 
nearly always broken 9 

9 — At least radio-medial vein (R + M) of corium 
distally pink or pinkish; eyes reddish brown; 
blade of paramere relatively narrow, with a large 
hook; vagina asymmetrical; total length of body 

7.0-8.6 mm imitufor Kerzhner 

— Radio-medial vein of corium without pink or 
pinkish tones; eyes pinkish brown; Made of para- 
mere broad* with relatively small hook; vagina 
symmetrical; total length pf body 7,75-8.25 mm 
henrlettue sp. nov. 



Stenonabis henriettae sp. nov. 
(Figs 4a, b, c, d, e, f) 


Head: slightly shiny except very shiny vertex, 
clypeus and median stripe on collar; pale yellow, 
with pale brown stripe between eyes dorsally, widen- 
ing toward base of clypeus, eyes and ocelli reddish 
brown, clypeus and antennifers brownish; head 
beneath dirty yellow. Antennal segments I and II, 
except brown apex, dirty yellow, segments III and 
IV yellowish brown. Rostral segments yellowish 
brown dorsally and yellow ventrally. A few hairs 
dorsally, shorter sparse hairs ventrally and very 
short dense ones behind eyes dorsally. 

Thorax: pronotum yellow, with pale brown 
median stripe, becoming narrower on hind lobe; two 
additional parallel brownish stripes on collar 
laterally and brownish pattern on fore lobe; three 
brownish broken parallel stripes on both sides of 
median one on hind lobe. 

Collar and hind lobe of pronotum with distinct 
punctation; collar with shallow transverse impress- 
ion in middle; demarcation between fore and hind 
lobes distinct; anterior margin of pronotum slightly 
concave, posterior margin nearly straight, lateral 
margins shallowly concave between lobes, fore lobe 
slightly raised above collar; hind lobe slightly raised 
above fore lobe; fore lobe 1.2-1.5 times shorter than 
hind lobe. Scutellum dull, dirty yellow with dark 
brown median stripe not reaching apex and with 
shallow impression in middle. Legs brownish yellow. 
Coxae and trochanters stramineous; fore and mid 
femora pale yellow dorsally, brownish with irregular 
yellow patches ventrally; hind femora stramineous 
except brown distal one-fifth; all tibiae brownish 
yellow, brown distally. Hemelytra brownish with 
yellow veins and yellow areas between them, with 
brown apex; clavus with two rows of indistinct 
punctures along basal half of claval suture; mem- 
brane yellow, translucent, with brown veins and 
without closed cells (rarely with 1 or 2); hemelytra 
surpassing apex of abdomen. Ventrally thorax 
brownish, meso- and metapleura with dark brown 
stripe laterally, meron and metepisternum yellow. 

Abdomen: yellow beneath with brown median 
and lateral longitudinal stripes on each side of med- 
ian one; genital segment brown, with long light 
hairs. Abdomen in females dull, in males very shiny, 
covered with short yellow hairs. 

Male genitalia: paramere of medium size, with 
wide blade, prominent hook laterally and small 
tooth on top of blade (Figs 4a, b, c); aedeagus large, 
with number of differently shaped sclerites (Fig. 

Female genitalia: Vagina small, symmetrical, thin- 
walled, with light transverse wrinkles and large 
parietal glands (Figs 4e, f). 

Type material 

Holotype — 1 o\ North Queensland, Henrietta 
Cr., Palmerston Nat. Park, 23 Jan. 1970, G.B. Mon- 
teith (QM); Paratypes — 3 9, same data as for 
holotype (QM). 

Other material examined 

North Queensland: 1 cr, 1 9, Iron Range, Cape 
York Pen., 26 May-2 June 1971, B.K. Cantrell; 1 
cr, Iron Range, Middle Claudie R., 19-20 Oct. 1974, 
M.S. Moulds; 1 cr, Iron Range. 16-23 Nov. 1965, 
G. Montcith; 1 o\ Dividing Range, Cape York Pen., 
15 km W. of Captain Billy Cr., 142 (, 45' E., 11' 40' 
S., 4-9 July 1975, G. Monteith (all specimens QM). 


Head length cr 1.05-1.10, 9 1.05-1.25, preocular 
part cr 0.55-0.60, 9 0.55-0.70, postocular part cr 
0.15, 9 0.10-0.15, length of eyes cr 0.35, 9 
0.35-0.40; width across eyes cr 0.85, 9 0.80-0.85, 
interocular distance cr 0.35, 9 0.30-0.35, width in 
front of eyes cr, 9 0.40-0.45, width of eyes cr, 9 
0.25, width behind eyes cr, 9 0.60-0.65; length 
antennal segments I cr 1.10, 9 1.05-1.35, II cr 1.50, 
9 1.35-1.50, III 9 1.60-1.85 (cr missing), IV 9 
1.55-1.60. Length rostral segments II cr 1.05, 9 
1.10-1.20, III cr, 9 0.95-1.05, IV cr, 9 0.50. 
Median length of pronotum cr 1.50-1.70, 9 
1.60-1.70, fore lobe cr 0.55, 9 0.55-0.65, hind lobe 
cr 0.65-0.85, 9 0.75-0.85, collar cr 0.25-0.30, 9 
0.30; anterior width <y 0.70, 9 0.75-0.85, posterior 
width cr 1.55, 9 1.70-1.90. Scutellum length cr 
0.55-0.70, 9 0.65-0.70, basal width cr 0.75, 9 
0.80-0.85, commissure cr 0.95-1.00, 9 0.95-1.15. 
Length fore femora cr 2.50-2.55, 9 2.30-2.65, 
tibiae cr 2.25-2.55, 9 1.75-2.35, mid femora cr 
2.30-2.45, 9 2.15-2.50, tibiae cr 2.05-2.30, 9 
2.00-2.95, hind femora cr 3.00-3.30, 9 3.00-3.50, 
tibiae cr 3.50-3.75, 9 3.25-4.00. Length of body 
cr 7.75-8.10 mm, 9 8.00-8.75 mm; width across 
hemelytra cr 1.60 mm, 9 1.75-2.05 mm (type 


S. henriettae is found so far only in Queensland. 
It is very close in appearance and body measure- 
ments to S. communis and S. imitator; from the 
former it differs by the less shiny hind lobe of pro- 
notum, from the latter by the absence of the pink 
tones of the veins of the eorium. The difference bet- 
ween the male and female genitalia of S. henriettae 
and these two species is very obvious; the presence 
of the hook on the top of the blade of the paramere 
(lacking in S. communis and S. imitator) and the 
asymmetrical vagina and parietal glands (symmet- 
rical in these two species). 



FIGIJKF 4. Stenonabis henriertae sp. IWV-! a. b, c — 
paraincrc, various positions; J — aedcagus; e — vagina, 
vk-w from above; f — the same, from below. 

Sfenonabis imitator Ker/hner 
(Figs 5a, b, c, d, e) 

Stennnohis tmitator Ker/hner, 1969: 310-312, Fig. 


Head, collar and pronotum slightly shiny, heme- 
lytra and scutcllum dull, sometimes whole body 
except clypeus dull. 

Head; dirty yellow with darkish clypeus; some- 
limes areas in front of and behind eyes and long- 
itudinal stripe between eyes brownish yellow with 
brown clypeus; head beneaih yellow to brownish 
yellow, sometimes whitish. Eyes and ocelli reddish 
brown or brown; antennifers brown, antennae and 
rostrum yellow or dirty yellow, antennal segment 
II brown apieally. 

Thorax: pronotum yellow or dirty yellow with 
median longitudinal stripe becoming very narrow 
and sometimes indistinct on hind lobe; collar yellow 
with median and two additional lateral stripes, 
sometimes indistinct; fore lobe with pale brown or 
brown, sometimes very indistinct, pattern; land lobe 
with additional stripes on each side of median one: 
broad curved lateral and two narrower, broken, in- 
distinct stripes between lateral and median. Collar 
with shallow punctures, those on hind lobe oi' pro- 
notum deeper and denser; Fore lobe raised above 
collar, hind lobe raised above front lobes nasally; 
anterior and posterior margins of pronotum nearly 
straight; lateral margins slightly concave; fore lobe 
separated from hind by shallow impression. Seut- 
cJlum yellow to dirty yellow with dark brown dif- 

fused median longitudinal stripe. Coxae yellow to 
dirty yellow, trochanters yellow; femora yellow 10 
dirty yellow, hind (sometimes also mid) femora 
brown apieally; tibiae yellow to dirty yellow, brown 
apieally. Hcmelytra yellow to dirty yellow; veins ol 
corium and claval suture yellow with brownish lat- 
eral margins; R+ M vein of corium pink or pinkish 
distally; apex ot "corium brown; membrane opaque, 
yellow or brownish yellow, with straight brown 
veins, Ventrally thorax yellow or brownish yellow; 
sometimes meso- and metasternum brownish, 
pleura yellow with broad median stripe, sometimes 
meso- and metapleura brownish yellow or dark 

Abdomen: yellow or brownish yellow ventrally 
with brown narrow median longitudinal stripe and 
broader lateral stripes on each side of median; 
sometimes alt stripes fused together, diffused or 
indistinct, in ihis case whole abdomen becoming 
brownish yellow; sometimes median stripe and two 
lateral very indistinct, in Ihis case whole abdomen 
appears brownish; conriexivum dirty yellow or 

Male and female genitalia: in Kerv.hner (1969). 

Type material 

Holotype — I o\ (Queensland, Cairns District, 
AM. Lea (SAMA); Paratypes — 4 cr, 2 Q same dala 
as for holotype (SAMA, 7IN, examined except for 
material from /IN). 

Other material examined 

North Queensland; 1 o\ Mossman, 25 March 
1967, M.S. Upton (ANIC); I cr, I 9, The Boulders, 
via Babinda, 15 Dec. 1966, B, Cantrell (EUQ); 1 ftf, 
Innisfail, at light, 16 May 1954, P Kennedy (EUQ); 
Northern Territory: I c>\ 1 kuiSF of Batchelor, ;it 
light, 12 Apr. 1966, N. McFarland (SAMA). 

in Ker/hner (1969). 


S, imitator \s very similar in appearance and body 
measurements lo & communis and S. henriettac. 
but differs very clearly in the male and female geni- 
talia; it also differs from these species in the pink 
tones of R i M vein of the corium {.V. henriertae), 
in the less shiny hind lobe of the pronotum (S. 

Stenonabis geftkufatus (Eriehson) 
(Figs 6a, b) 

Nahis \>emculaius Eriehson, 1842. 2*2. 

Reduviolus (Stenonutv's) gettuutatus: Rculcr, 1908: 


Stenonabis s>eniculatus: Kcrzhner, 1969: 300* 



FIGURE 5, Stenonahfc imitator Kerch,; a — paramere. 
Ififi^al view; b — (he same, from below; e — acdeygus, 
d - vagina, view from above; e — ihe same, from below 
(Kcrchner 1069). 


Head, pronotum and abdomen shiny, homely tra 
arid scutellum dull. 

Head: brown, whitish beneath; elypeus and juga 
smooth and more shiny than rest of head; head dor- 
sally with two dark brown parallel lines between 
eyes, diverging toward clypeus; eyes and ocelli large, 
reddish brown, Antenna! segments f and II yellow. 
It brown apically (segments 111 and IV missing). 
Rostral segment 1 yellowish brown, segmeru 11 
brownish yellow, 111 and IV pale brown. 

Thorax; pronotum yellowish brown with wide 
median longitudinal stripe; additional stripes on 
hind lobe of pronotum rudimentary, represented by 
two dark brown patched at base on each side ol 
median stripe. Collar and hind lobe of pronotum 
with coarse punctures, demarcation between Tore 
and hind lobe indistinct; anterior and posterior 
margins of pronotum slightly concave; lateral 
margins shallowly concave between lobes, lore lobe 
arched and raised above collar, hind lobe Hat, short. 
Scutellum with wide black median stripe reaching 
apex and dirty yellow sides and with transverse 
impression busally. Coxae dark brown, htnd ones 
yellow basally; trochanters brownish yellow; fore 
femora dark dorsally and yellowish brown ventrally, 
with elongated yellow, irregularly shaped patch on 
Iateial surface distally and with yellow areas on 
ventral surface distally; mid femora yellowish 
brown, dark brown apically, with two small yellow 
patches on inner surface, third basal patch indis- 

tinct; hind femora brownish yellow with about distal 
1/4 dark brown; fore tibiae diny yellow, mid and 
hind tibiae yellow, dark brown apically, Fore femoia 
stout, slightly swollen in basal half, mid femora wilh 
distal half thicker than basal one, hind femora ihin. 
Coxae covered with short decumbent hairs, becom- 
ing longer and denser on femora, especially on ven- 
tral surface, Hemelytra very short, cover first visible 
tergite laterally, their apical margins straight, 
oblique, directed ioward apex of scutellum* with a 
few very short hairs; membrane extremely short, 
hardly noticeable 

Abdomen yellowish brown, with dark brown 
median longitudinal stripe dorsally; lateral margins 
and end o( abdomen ventrally brownish yellow. 
Sliorl decumbent yellow hairs ventrally, smooth and 
hairless dorsally, except for hairy lateral margins. 

Male genitalia: unknown. 

Female genitalia: vagina asymmetrical, very 
wrinkled above and beneath, with pointed rounded 
apes; parietal glands large, nearly symmetrical, vis- 
ible from above (Fig, 6a, b). 

type material 

Holotype — 1 9, brachyptcrous, lasmunia, 
Schaycr (ZBM, examined). 

Other material examined 

Tasmania: I 9, brachypterous, Cynlhta Bav, 
Lake St Clair, 7-8 Feb, 1967. G. Morueiih (QM). 
Males unknown. 


Head length 1. 10-1.15, preoeular pari 0.55-0,60, 
postocular 0.10, length of eyes 45: width across 
eyes 1.00-1.05, inierocular distance 0.45, width in 
front of eyes 0.50-0.55, width of eyes 0.25, width 
behind eyes 0,75 Length antennal segments I 
0.70 0.75. II 1.00-1.15. \\\ 1,20, (IV segment mfsi 
ing); length rostral segments II 1.00, 111 1.00, IV 
0.50. Median length of pronotum 1,55, fore lobe 
0.75-O.XO, collar 0.20-0.30; anterior Width 0.95. 
posterior width 1.70-1.75; lengib of scutellum 0.55, 
width 0.60. Length fore femora 1 .80-1.85. width 
O.50, tibiae 1.75; mid femora 2.00. width 0.40-0.45, 
tibiae 1.70-1.75; hind femora 2,50, tibiae 2.7'>. 
Length o[ body 7.0-7.1 mm, width across abdomen 
2.7-2.8 mm (holotype and another 9 from 


£ ficn/culatus is a rare species; the specimen 
examined differs from the type by ihe general dark 
brown colour of the body and appendages (brown- 
ish yellow in the type), by the presence of two para- 
llel dark, brown lines between the eyes dorsally (lack 
ing in the type) and by the evenly brown colour ol 
the abdomen (yellow with a brown median longi- 



tudinal siripc in the type); the size and proportions 
Of the body in the two specimens are very close. The 
species differs from the other Australian species by 
the markings of the pronotum and the structure of 
the female genitalia. 

tl< it )RL 6. Sfcnonahh genicttlutus Lnch.; a — vagina. 
view from above; l> — I he *amc f from below. 

Stvnonnhis roscus kerzhner 
(Figs 7a, b, c) 

Sk'fumabis rosea* Kzv/Amcu I%9: 306 307, Fig. 14. 


L i^ht-Lolourcd species: head and hind lobe 61 
pronotum very shiny, collar and fore lobes less 
shinv, hemelyira and scuteltum dull. Main colour 
pinkish yellow lo dirty pink. Head, antennae, ros- 
trum, legs and hemelyira pale, without any dark 

Head: Pinkish yellow with pinkish clypeus and 
brownish red eyes; antenmlers darkish; antennal 
segment I pinkish yellow, other segments, as well 
as rostral ones, dirty yellow. 

Thorax: Collar and fore lobe of pronotum pink- 
ish yellow, hind lobe yellow; collar, pronotum and 
scutellum with light brown, rather narrow median 
stripe, sometimes widening at base of pronotum; 
fore lobe with light brown pattern; hind lobe with 
2 or 3 additional broken pale brown stripes on each 
side of median one, sometimes without any visible 
additional stripes. Collar with dense punctures; 
pronotum with lore and hind lobes separated by 
shallow impression; anterior and posterior margins 
of pronotum slightly curved, lateral margins shal- 
lowly concave between lobes; hind lobe gradually 
raised toward hind margin; punctures on hind lobe 
coarser and deeper anteriorly, becoming finer and 
shallower posteriorly. Scutellum with yellow sides. 
Coxae and trochanters stramineous; fore femora 
pinkish yellow with aboul proximal 1/3 stram- 
ineous; mid and hind femora dirty yellow with 
about proximal 1/2 stramineous; all tibiae dirty 
yellow. Hemclytra pinkish yellow, well surpassing 
apex o\' abdomen, clavus and membrane basally 
dirty yellow, clavus with two rows of indistinct 
punctures alongside basal 1/2 of claval suture; all 
veins of corium or at least Cu vein pinkish or pink; 

membrane with brown veins. Veni rally tborax 
yellow with brown lateral stripe on each side. 

Abdomen: shiny, brownish yellow beneath, except 
segments I -IV which are stramineous, with broken 
brown longitudinal stripes laterally, covered with 
extremely short decumbent hairs; conncxivum 
brownish with yellow oval patch on each segment; 
genital segment pale brown. 

Male genitalia: parameres large, with pointed api- 
cal process of blade and double hook ventro-later- 
ally (Fig, 7a, b); acdeagus with few plane scleritcs 
(Fig. 7c). 

Female geniialta: in Kerzhner (1969). 

Type material 

Holotype — 1 9, Queensland, Cairns District, 
A.M. lea (SAM A); Paratypes — 2 9, the same daw 
(SAMA. ZIN; examined except for tnatcrial from 

Other material examined 

Queensland; I cr (head and pronotum missing). 
West Normandy R., 40 m 
1970, G. Monteith (QM), 1 
1963, G. Monteith (QM). 

? of Cooktown, 5 May 
0, Kuranda, 28 Dec. 

(1969). Length of body 9.50- 

In Kerzhner 
10.0 mm, width across hemelytra 2,10-2.15 mm 
(type material). 


S. rosetts is known so far only from North 
Queensland and is distinguished from other species 
by its large and light pinkish body and appendages, 
by the markings of the pronotum and the structure 
of the male and female genitalia, 

FIGURE 7. Sfenonabis roseu.s Kerzh.; a, b — paramere. 
various positions; c — acdeagus. 

Stenottabte nitidieotlis Kerzhner 
(Figs 8a, b, c, d) 

Siemwabis m'tidicollis Kerzhner, 1969: 307-308, Fig. 



Macrapterous form 

Head: brownish yellow, shiny, appearing whitish 
beneath, areas around eves pule yellow; two dark 
brown parallel longitudinal lines restricting brown- 
ish areas between eyes; eyes and ocelli reddish 
brown. Antennae and rostrum ye) low to dirty yel- 
low, antcnnal .segment Jl with darV brown ring ai 
about distal 1/5. Short yellow hairs disially, white 
pubescence and longer sparse hair.s ventrally; sides 
behind eyes nearly straight. 

Thorax, pronoium shiny yellow with narrow 
brown median stripe, more or less widening ar post- 
erior margin of very shiny hind lobe; additional 
brown stripe on collar on each side; lore lobe with 
brown pattern; hind lobe with curved brown stripe 
on each side of median one, sometimes widening 
at posterior margin. Collar and hind lobe of 
pronotum with sparse, fine punctures; anterior and 
posterior margins of pronotum nearly straight, 
lateral impression between lobes shallow. 
demarcation between lobes indistinct medially; fore 
lobe slightly raised above collar, hind lobe raised 
toward posterior margin. SeuteiJum slightly shiny 
with wide black median stnpe reaching apex, Ijegs 
brownish yellow to pale yellow, coxae pale yellow 
to dirty yellow with lore coxae brownish anteriorly: 
fore and mid femora brownish yellow, pale on inner 
surface and with short brown transverse stripes on 
outer surface; hind femora brownish yellow with 
brown ring near distal 1/5; all tibiae pale yellow 
with brownish ring apieally. Hemclytra slightly 
shiny brownish yellow; commissure and veins of 
corium yellow with brownish rim along both sides, 
RiM and Cu veins of corium red for about 
posterior 1/2 and on border with membrane 
between veins thus forming triangular cell, space 
between veins yellow lo dirty yellow; membrane 
hyaline, vellow, with brownish straight veins. Hernc- 
Jytra reaching end of abdomen; covered with short 
yellow hairs basaJly and for 3/4 length laterally. 
Ventrally thorax yellow, mctasiernum with dark 
brown patch medially, pleura yellow with dark 
hrown, nearly black longitudinal stripe on each side. 
Abdomen: yellow beneath, with brown median 
longitudinal stripe and another one on each side 
of median; eonnevivum yellow with pinkish narrow 
external edge and small pinkish spots on each 

Brachypterous form 

Head: dorsally dark brown, appearing whihsh 
beneath, rostral segments I and II dirty yellow 
(segments III and IV and antennae missing) 

Thorax: pronotum shiny, with coarse punctures 
on collar and hind lobe; anterior margin of pnv 
notum slightly concave, posterior margin curved; 
demarcation between lobes indistinct; hind lobe not 
raised above fore lobe; pronotum shorter than in 

macropterous forms. Black median stripe on seul- 
elium not reaching apex; scutellum with truncate 
apex, wider than long. Hernelytra dirty yellow, with 
indistinct veins, very short, covering first visible 
rcrgiie laterally, apical margin straight, oblique, 
directed toward apex of scutellum, with few short 
hairs; membrane absent. 

Abdomen: shiny, coveted with short decumbent 
silvery hairs. 

Male genitalia: paramcre of medium size and 
distinct shape, with oblique tooth on top of blade* 
and hook laterally (Fig. Ha. b, c);.aedea£us small, 
with numbers of (Fig. Sd). 

Female genitalia: in Kerzhner (196*)). 

Type material 

Holotype— 1 9. New South Wales, Engadirw 
(?) (difficult to read label), 6 Dec. 1958 (AMNH, 
not examined). 

Other material examined 

Queensland: I cr, maeropierous. Bald Ml. area. 
3000' -4000' via Emu Vale, 26-30 (month omitted) 
1975, G. Monteith (QM); I cr, macropterous. 
Crater Nat. Park, Atherlon Tbkl,. 25 Apr. I97u 
(QM); 1 V. tnacropterous, Brisbane, 5 Oct. I%2, 
E,A. Bernays (QM); 1 cr, brachypterous, Upper 
Brookfield, 14 Apr. I%2, T.b. Woodward (QM). 


Maeropierous form: head length ./ I 00, 9 I.O.s, 
prcocular part o> 0.50, 9 0.55, posroculat cr 0.J0, 

V 0.15, length of eyes cr, 9 0.35; width across eyes 
cr 0.80-0.85. 9 0.85, internal lar distance cr 
035-0.40, 9 0.35, width in front of eves cr 
0.35-0.40, 9 0.45, behind eyes cr 0.55-0.60, 9 
0.60. Length aniennnl segments I cr 0.85-0.95, 9 
0.90, Jl cr, v 1.25, III & 1.40, 9 1,50. IV <;', Q 
I 50. Length rostral segments II 'J 0,95-1.00, 9 
1.00. Ill </ 0.80-0.95. 9 0.95. IV o% 9 0.50 
Median length of pronotum cr I.40-L50, 9 1.60. 
collar o\ 9 0.25, lore lobe OP 1.0, 9 1.4 times 
shorter than hind lobe' cr 0.55-0.60, V 0.55 ana 
or 0.60-0.65, 9 0.H0 respectively, anterior width 
ct 0.65-0.70, Q 0.70, posletior width ff 1 60-1,70, 
9 J .75. Scutellum length or 0.60 -0.65, 9 0.90, 
width cr 75, 9 1.00. length fore femora cr 
1.95-2.10, ? ZOO, tibiae cr 1.60-1.85, 9 1.80. m.d 
femora cr , 9 2.00. tibiae CT 1,60-1.85. 9 1.75, hind 
femora, c 2.50-2.75, 9 M0, tibiae cr 2.75-125, 

V JjOft Total length of body: cr 6.0-7.5 mm. 9 

7.6 mm; width across hem elytra cr 1.5 (7, 9 

1.7 mm (material examined). 

Brachypterous form: head length \if\ 1.00, pre- 
Ocufer part 0.51, postocular part 6.15, length of eye* 
0.37, width behind eye& 0.15; antennae missing. 
Length rostral segment II 1.00 (III and IV missing. 
Median length of pronotum 125, collar 0.20; hind 
lobe very short, 1,3 times shorter than fore lobe 



(0.45 and 0.60 respectively); anterior width of 
pronotum 0.75, posterior L50; scutellum length 
0.60, width 0/75. Length tore lemora 2.10, tibiae 
L85, mid femora 2.00, tibiae 1.75, hind lemora 2.75, 
tibiae 3.25. Length of body (a) 6.75, width across 
hemelytra 1.65 mm (examined material). 


S. nitidicollis differs from other species by its 
small size, by the kind of markings Of the pronotum 
and by the structure of the male and female geni- 

I-IUURF 8, Stenunabts mlidicoUn K<;»vh. a, b, t — 
puninicic, various positions; d — a^doagus. 

SurutiuMs dnrwini Kerehner 
(Figs 9a, h, e) 

Srenonabh darwim Keryhner, 1969; 304-306, fig. 


Upper side of body slightly shiny, scutellum dull. 

Head: brown; areas near eyes dirty yellow dor- 
sally, with 2 dark brown lines, parallel between eyes 
and diverging before base of clypeus, Lyes and ocelli 
reddish brown; antennifers and antenna! segments 
brownish yellow, segment II dark distally; rostral 
segments dirty yellow, segment IV dark distally. 

Thorax: collar and pronotum dirty yellow, with 
dark brown markings; median longitudinal stripe, 
narrower on hind lobe distally and widening again 
ba-sally, and I or 2 addilional stripes on each side 
of median one so that all 5 stripes parallel and more 
prominent posteriorly; fore lobe with brown pat- 
tern. Collar and hind lobe of pronotum with fine 
punctures; anterior and posterior margins ol pro- 
notum straight, lateral margins shallowly concave 
between lobes. Seutellutn dark brown, nearly black, 
with 2 small yellow palches laterally. Coxae and 
trochanters brownish yellow; fore lemora yellow on 
inner and brownish on outer surface, mid femora 
brownish yellow on about proximal half and dark 
brown distally, hind femora with about proximal 
2/3 yellow and about distal 1/3 brown; all tibiae 
yellow with dark brown apices. Llemelytra almost 

reaching apex of abdomen; clavus, coriurn and 
membrane yellow; con um with yellow, membrane 
with brown veins; membrane hyaline, with or with- 
out closed cells and with 9 or 10 veins at posterior 
margin. Ventrally Ihorax dark brown. 

Abdomen: brownish yellow, with small yellow 
spot on each segment oTconnexivum, covered with 
short silver hairs, genital segment with long pale 

Mule genitalia: parameres small, with tooth on 
lop of blade medially and large hook laterally (Fig. 
Shi, b); aedeagus small, with 6 selerites (2 dentate 
and 4 planej in basal half (Fig, 9c). 

Female genitalia: in Kcrzhncr (1969). 

Type material 
Holotype — 

1 9, Darwin, G.T. Hill (SAMA) 

Other material examined 

Northern Territory: 1 cr, I 9,5 km NW of 
Cahills Crossing, Last Alligator River, 28 May 1973, 
M.S. Upton (ANIC), Queensland: I cr, Lockerbie 
Area, Cape York, 13-27 Apr, 1973, G. Monleiih 


Head length cr 1.05-L35, 9 J.20-1.35, prcoculai 
pan Cf 0.55-0.75, 9 0.64-0.75, postocular pari cr 
0.15-0.20, 9 0.14-0.20, length of eyes cr 0.35-0.40, 
9 0.40-0.43, width across eyes o* 0.80-0.95, 9 
0.H3-0.95, interocular distance Q\ 9 0.30-0.40, 
width in front of eyes cr 0.45-0-50, 9 0.44-0,50, 
behind eyes cr 0,60-0.65, 9 0.60-0.70. Length 
amennal segments I a 1.30-1.50, 9 1.36-1.75, II 
cr 2.00-210, v 2.10-2.35. Ill cr 2.45, 9 2.10-2.35. 
IV missing. Length rostral segments II cr 0,85-1.10, 
9 0.86-1.10, 1)1 cr 0.95- L00 t 9 0.79-1.00, IV cr 
0.50-0.55. 9 0.36-0.55 Median length of 
pronotum o* 1.45-1,70, 9 1.50-1.80, fore lobe cr 
0.65, 9 0.60-0.70. collar cr 0.25-0.30, 9 0.30-0.35, 
anterior width cr 0.60-0.75, 9 0.70-0.80, posterior 
width ty 1.45-1.65. 9 I 50-1.75. Median length of 
scutellum cr 0.75, 9 0.70-0.75, basal width cr 
0.70-0,80, 9 0.70-0.75. Length lore femora cr 
2.45-2.50, 9 2.65-3.30, tibiae cr 2.25-2.50, 9 
2.35-2.75, mid femora cr 2.25-2.75. 9 2.35-2.75, 
tibiae r 2.25-2,50, 9 2.25-2.65, hind femora tt 
3.40-4.00, 9 3.65-4.50, tibiae cr 3-70-4.25. ? 
3.60-4,65, Length of body cr 7.75-9.00 mm, 9 
S. 80-9.60 mm, width across hcmclytra O* 
1.30-1.75 mm, 9 I 50-1*0 mm (material 


S. darwim is known so far from the Northern 
Territory and Queensland and is distinguished from 
other Australian species by the narrow body, daik 



coloration, proportions and markings of the pro- 
noturn and the structure of the male and female 

FIGURE 9. Swnonabri darwwi Ker/h.: * — par&rnerti 
lateral view: b — the same, from below; c — aedeagu*. 

Sienonabis mornsngtoni sp. nov. 
(Figs 10a, b, c, d) 

Head dorsally, pronofum and abdomen shiny, 
scutellum, hemelytra and thorax dull. 

Head: dark brown dorsally except lor dirty yellow 
areas around eyes; appears whitish beneath. Anten- 
nal segments I and II brown (111 and IV missing); 
rostral segments yellow except for brown I one; 
anrennat segment II with brownish distal fifth. 
Short silver hairs ventrally and on areas around eyes 
dorsally and a few long fine hairs on each side later- 
ally. Ocelli large, shiny, nearly touching posterior 
margin of head, with anterior margins in front of 
level of posterior margins of eyes. 

Thorax: pronotum yellow with wide brown med- 
ian longitudinal stripe; collar brownish ventrally, 
with narrow brown additional stripe on each side 
of median one laterally; lore lobe with brown pat- 

tern; hind lobe with 2 parallel brownish stripes 
laterally on each side of median one, one of them, 
nearest to median, broken and indistinct. Collar 
with very fine and hind lobe of pronotum with 
coarse punctures; foTC lobe raised above collar 
rather steeply, hind lobe raised above fore lobe 
gradually toward base of pronotum; demarcation 
between lobes indistinct; anterior margin of fore 
lobe slightly convex, posterior margin of hind lobe 
nearly straight; lateral margins of pronotum 
shallowly concave, nearly straight between fore and 
hind lobes; fore lobe LIS times longer than hind 
lobe. Scutellum yellow with broad black median 
longitudinal stripe reaching its apex and with basal 
impression and pointed apex. Thorax beneath 
yellowish brown with yellow mctasternum and dark- 
brown meso- and mctapleura. l.egs brownish yellow, 
coxae and trochanters yellow, fore coxae brown 
anteriorly; fore femora dirty yellow on inner lateral 
surface and much darker outside dorsally and 
ventrally; rnid and hind femora dirty yellow; pale 
yellow basalty, brown apically, with indistinct pale- 
brown ring medially; all tibiae brownish yellow. 
Hemelytra brownish yellow with indistinct veins, 
corium covered with two rows of punctures 
alongside basal 1/2 of claval suture; membrane 
greyish yellow, translucent, with 3 closed cells; 
hemelytra surpassing apex of ah- 

Abdomen: brown beneath, with yellowish brown 
basal area and dirty yellow cormexivum; abdomen 
covered with short dense silver hairs; small shiny 
areas free of hairs on II basal segment of con- 

Mate genitalia: parameres large, with wide blade 
and 3 hooks on it, big hook ventro-laterally with 
pointed apex and 2 smaller ones dorsally, one of 
these at base of blade and another on top of blade 
medially (Fig. 10a, b, c); aedeagus of medium size, 
with 6 rather big sclerites (3 plane and 3 with forked 
end, Fig. lOd). 

Type matenul 

Holotype — I o\ rnaeropterous, Qld. 
Morningtori Cr; (? not clear writing), J. Mission. 
15 May 1963, N,a Tindale and P. Aitken (SAM A) 
Females unknown. 


Head length 1.15, preocular part 0.60, postoctilar 
part 0.15, length of eyes 0.40; width across eyes 0.85, 
interoenlar distance 0.30, width in front of eyes 0.45, 
behind eyes 0.55. Length antennal segments I 0.85, 
II 1.25; length rostral segments It 0.80, III 0.95, IV 
0.30. Median length of pronotum 1.70, collar 0.30, 
fore lobe 0.75, hind lobe 0.65; anterior width 0.85, 
posterior width 1.80. Scutellum length 0.85, width 
1.00. Length fore femora 2.00, tibiae 1 55, mid 



FIGURE 10. Sh'nottuhis marningtoni sp. nov. 
paramcre, various positions; d — acdcagus. 

a, b, c — 

femora 1.90, libiac 1.75, hind femora 2.60, tibiae 
2.80, Length of body 8.0 mm, width across 
hemdytra 2.2 mm (holotype). 


The species is known only from type locality in 
Queensland. It is close in appearance to other 
Stenonabis species, but is clearly distinguished by 
the kind of markings of the pronotum and by the 
distinct shape of the male genitalia. 


This study was supported and the facilities provided by 
the Museum of Victoria, for which special thanks are due 
to Dr A, Ncboiss and Mr K. Walker. For the loan of the 
material, the author is grateful to the Museums listed III 
the Introduction. Particularly appreciated was the help 
of the late Dr T.L. Woodward and Dr LVL Kerzhner, of 
the Zoological Institute, Academy of Science, USSR, in 
the preparation of this paper. (Dr Kerzhner helped es- 
pecially with the drawings of the female genitalia in Nahts 
fraternus and Nobis hi/omits, as well as the 'Remarks' to 
Nabis kinbergii). 


BERGROTH, E.E. 1927. Hemiptera Heteroptera from 
New Zealand. Trans. Proc. N.Z. htsr 57: 681. 

CHEESMAN, L.E. 1927. A contribution toward the insect 
fauna of French Oceania. Part I. Trans. R. Ent. Soc. 
Land., 75: 147 161. 

DISTANT, W.L. 1920. Rhynehota from New Caledonia. 
Attn. Mag. Nat. Hist. (9) 6: 143-164, 

f RICHSON, W.K 1842. Beitrag zur Eauna von Vandie- 
mensland mil besonderer Rucksichl auf die gcograph- 
isehe Verbreitung der Insccten. Arch.f. Naturgesch. 8(1): 

MUTTON, KW. 1904. 'Index launae Novae Zealandie'. 
Dulau & Co., London, VII L 373 pp. 

KERZHNER, KM. 1968. New and little known Palearetie 
bugs of the family Nabidae (Heteroptera). Ent. Rev., 
Hash. 47: 517-525. 

KERZHNER. I.M. 1969. Neueand weing bekannte Nab- 
idae (Heteroptera) auh den iropischen Gebieten der 
Allen Welt, Acta cntom. Mus. naf. Pragoe3H: 279-399. 

KERZHNER, I.M. 1981. Hemiptera family Nabidae. In 
O.A. Scarlato, (Chief Ed.) and G.S. Medvedev (Ed.). 
Fauna SSSR Insecta Rhynehota (Nattka: Leningrutt) 13 
(2): 1-326 (in Russian). 

REMANE, R. 1964. Weitere Beitrage zur Kenntnis der 
Gatrung Nobis L&lr. (Hemiptera, Nabidae), Zoot. Beitr. 
(N,E) 10 (2): 253-314. 

REUTER, O.M. 1872. Nabidae novae et minus cognitae. 
Bidrag till Nabidernas Kannedom. Ofv. Kgi Vet. Akad. 
Forhandi 29 (6): 79-96. 

REUTER, O.M. 1908. Bemerkungen uber Nabiden nebst 
Beschreibung neuer Arten. Mem. Soc. entom, Betg. 15: 

WOODWARD, T.E. 1982. The identity of the species com- 
monly known in Australia as Nabis capsiformis Gerrnar 
(Hemiptera: Nabidae). J. Aust. ent. Soc. 21: 143-146. 

WOODWARD, T.E. & STROMMER, N.G. 1982. Nobis 
kinbergii Reuter, the current name for Tropiconahis 
nigrotineatus (Distant), and its Australian distribution 
(Hemiptera: Nabidae). / Aust. ent. Soc. 21: 306. 




byG. G. Scott &K. C. Richardson 


Brachial, antebrachial and carpal bones from the hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) and 
common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) are, with the exception of the first and second carpal bones, 
all distinguishable. Likewise the pelvis, femur, tibia, fibula and epipubic bones from the hairy- 
nosed wombat (L. latifrons) and common wombat (V. ursinus) all have specific characteristic 
differences. To facilitate rapid specimen identification at the generic level, the different gross 
morphological features are summarised. 





SC0TT> 0ft & RICHARDSON, KC 1988. Appendicular osteologteal differences, between 
Lasfarhtrw* latifrons lOwen, |)M$)*ft0 \'<stnhatu,s ursittus (Shau, IKOO) (Mjrsupialia Vomlvitid.u-J 
Kev 5. .4^7. Mtau 22(2): 95-102 

Brachial, aniebrachial and carpal bones I'roin llic hairy-nosed wombat t'Lasiorhinus latifrons) 
and common wombat (Votnbutus ursimn) are, with the exception of (he first and second carpal 
bones, all distinguishable. Likewise the pelvis, femur, tibia, fibula and epi pubic bones from the 
hairy-nosed wombat (L latifronsf and common wombat {V. ursinus^ all have specific characteristic 
differences. To tactUiale rapid specimen identification at the generic level, the different gross 
morphological features are summarised, 

A number of consistently different features between specimens of the two genera have been 
recognised during this .study. In the forelimb the scapula has a large process present on its caudaJ 
angle ifi L, httifams, but only tubercle is present in V. ursinus, The scapula spire U narrow 
in i. latifrons, and broad in I. ursinus. The coracoid process groove which accommodates the 
bicipital tendon is wide in L. latifrons, but narrow in K urstnus, I he scapula articular tuberosity 
it vestigial in L. latifrons, but well developed in K ttr\inus\ A deep triangular fossa is adjacent 
|0 the scapula mfra-aineular tuberosity in L. latifrons, but absent in t . urstnus. The clavicular 
Shaft has a convex medial surface in L laiifrans, but this h sharp and sickle-shaped in K ursinus. 
\ large riffof on the latcrodorsal surface of the shaft in L latifrons is vestigial in I' ursinus. 
The sternoclaviculai .surface is roughened with a deep fossa in L. latifrons, but roughened having 
g tussa confluent with a deep groove in t ursinus. The acromioclavicular articular surface has 
a large tubercle in L. latifrons. which is vestigial in V. ursinus The clavicular breadth, diameter 
ot the humeral head, and the width of the humeral shaft arc all significant different. 

Many previously unrecorded, consistent differences were found in (he hirtdlinih. The pelvic 
iliac crest is directed laterally and forms a right angle with body of ilium in L, latifrons. bru 
is Sickle-shaped* in K ursinus. Its lateral extremity is expanded in L, latifrons, but pointed in 
K urstnus. The iliopectineal eminence is a large process in L. lalij'rons, but a small tubercle in 
l' ursinus. The pelvic isehiatie tuberosity is tiairow, approximately 20 mm, in L. latifrons, but 
wide, approximately 40 mm, in V. urstnus. Epipubic bones are quire distinct, with the articular 
surface broad and elongate in L latifrons, but narrow in V. ursinus. Its proximal ventral surface 
Is deeply concave in L latifrons, but Oat in V, ursinus. The femur has few distinguishing features, 
the greater trochanter is deeply grooved in L latifrons, but is only a tuberosity in Ed ursinus. 
On the tibia Ihe medial intercondylar eminence is long craniocaudally in L. latifrons, but pointed 
in V. ursinus. The articular surface foi Ihe lateral condyle of the femur is circular in L. latifrons, 
but elongate in V, ursinus Other than a number of trivial differences in the fibula the only reliable, 
readily recognisable difference is that the medial and caudal borders of Us plantar surface are 
founded in I. latifrons, but square in K ursinus. The pelvic length and breadth, femur length 
and fibular length are all significantly different. 

G.G. Scott &. K.C. Richardson, School ol Veterinary Studies, Murdoch University, Miudocli. 
Western Australia 6150, Manuscript received 5 May is>88. 

Individual bones, particularly small ones such as 
Lire carpals, tarsals and phalanges, are commonly 
found once decomposition, disarticulation and \\ca- 
tlicimg aJI play their part on the body of a dead 
animal. These bones, commonly scattered over the 
u nam, may be found individually, sometimes a few 
together, and occasionally large numbers in a pro- 
letfed site or archaeological digging. Whatever the 
- i v.-, the identification of these bones is often diffi- 
cult In some instances species identification may 
be biased by modern perceptions of zoogeographic 

This study collates the scanty information pre- 
viously published on osteology of the wombat fore 
limb (Owen 1838, Murie 1867, De Vis 1892, Scott 
1V15) as well as that of the hindlimb (Owen 1838, 

Murie 1867, De Vis 1892). It describes the diag- 
nostic features of bones of the forth mb and hind- 
limb of the hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus lati- 
frons) and ot the common wombat (Vomhatus 
ursitiusj which separate ihe extant genera, 



Bones of the forelimb and hindlimb of L. lati- 
frons and K ursinus were examined in the collect- 
ions of the Australian Museum, Sydney; British 
Museum (Natural History), London; Museum ot" 
Victoria, Melbourne: Queensland Museum, Bris- 
bane; South Australian Museum, Adelaide; and 



Western Australian Museum, Perth. For this study 
additional specimens of L luti/rons were collected 
at Blanchciown, Roonka and Swan Reach in South 
Australia; and of K ursinus over the Great Dividing 
Range and adjacent regions, 


The morphology of individual hones of (lie 
forelimb was examined and any distinguishing, fea- 
tures noted. Adult and juvenile specimens were 
examined, but only bones from adults were com- 
pared for diagnostic put poses. Linear measure- 
ments were made with vernier calipers on adull 

Forelimb Measurements 

1. Scapula 

(i) breadth, measured from the cranial angle to 
the caudal angle. 

(ii) length, measured from thesupraglenoid tub- 
ercle to the cranial angle. 

2. Clavicle 

(i) length, measured from the clavicle -acromion 
articular surface to the clavicle-sternum articular 

(ii) breadth, measured at the point of maximum 
constriction of the shaft proximal to ihc clav- 
icle-sternum articular surface. 

3. Humerus 

(i) length, measured from the proximal surface 

of the head to the distal surface of the capitulum. 

(ii) head diameter, measured lateromedially, 

(iii) deltoid tuberosity, maximum height above the 


(iv) articulating condyles, width measured from 

the lateral surface of the lateral epicondyle to the 

medial surface of the medial epicondyle. 

(v) shaft width, minimum measurement proximal 

to the deltoid tuberosity, but distal to the grealer 


4. Ulna 

(i) length, measured from the proximal olecranon 
to the distal surface of Ihc styloid process. 

5. Radius 

(i) length, measured from the proximal surface 
of the head to the distal surface of the styloid 

Hindlimh Measurements 

!. Pelvis 
(i) length, from the proximal surface ol the iliac 
crest to the distal surface of the ischial tuberosity, 
(ii) breadth, from the medial surface of the iliac 
tuberosity to the lateral surface of the iliac 

2. Femur 
(i) length, from the proximal surface of the head 
to the distal surface of the medial condyle, 
(ii) shaft diameter, midway along (he shaft. 

3. Tibia 

(i) length, from the proximal surface of the inter- 
condylar eminence to the distal surface of the 
medial malleolus, 
(ii) shaft diameter, midway aJong the shaft. 

4. Fibula 

(i) length, from the proximal surface ol the lateral 

condyle lo the dista! surface of the lateral 


(ii) shaft diameter, midway along the shall. 

The bones ol the disial forelimb and InndlJmb 
were examined only for morphological differences. 
Osteological terminology used is as in the 'Nomina 
Anatomica Veterina^ia , (Habel et a/. 19S3)\ 


Where appropriate Student's t-test, 2- 'sided', and 
bivariate analysis (Simpson et al. 1%0) was used. 
Bjvariate regression analysis of specimens of known 
sex shows no significant sexual dimorphism lor any 
of the characters examined, so measurements of 
both sexes were combined. 

Rrsi'i is 

For most features measured there was an overlap 
in the range of measurements between V. ursinus 
and /. (atifrons. However, clavicle breadth, humerus 
shaft width, the laleromedial diameter of the hum- 
eral head, pelvis breadth and femur length were all 
significantly larger (P < 0,001) in K ursinus. Pelvis 
length (P < 0.01 ) and fibula length (P < 0,05) were 
also larger in R ursinus. Forelimb measurements 
lor both genera are given in Table I. Hindlimh mea- 
surements lor both genera are given in Table 2. 


FIOURF I. Dorsal view of the left scapula in (A) / 
laii/rons and (B) V. ursinus. Where a, cranial border; b, 
cranial angle; e, vertebral bonier: d. caudal angle; e, caudal 
border; f, arrowed, m Ira-articular tuberosity; g, spine. 
Scale hue is 2 cm. 


I he fallowing morphological featuies were found 
lo be diagnostically different for the two genera; 




Caudal angle 
Dorsal spine 



L. latifrons 
large process 
about 3 mm 

deep and wide- 
ly grooved, 
no fossa 

V. ursinus 

small tubercle 

about 6 mm 


narrow groove, 

large fossa 



L. latifrons 
(i) vestigial 

K ursinus 

(ii) deep no fossa, only 

triangular fossa roughened 
present surface 


L, latifrons V. ursinus 

(i) Medial convex sharp and 

surface sick le-shaped 

(ii) Latero- large ridge vestigial 

dorsal surface 

Sternal articu- 
lar surface 

Scapula artic- 
ular surface 

L. latifrons 
deep fossa 

large tubercle 

V. ursinus 

fossa confluent 
with a deep 







FIGURE 2. Right clavicle in (A) L. latifrons and (B) V. ursinus. (i) is a dorsolateral view, (ii) is a medial view, a, 
arrowed, targe ridge; b ( fossa; c, groove. Scale line is 2 cm. 

TABLE 1. Forelimb measurements (mm) for L. latifrons and V. ursinus. 

Scapula breadth 

Scapula length 

Clavicle length 

Clavicle breadth 

Humerus length 

Humerus diameter 

Humerus deltoid tuberosity height 

Humerus articular condyle width 

Humerus shall width 

Ulna length 

Radius length 

* P < 0.05, ** P < 0.01, *** P < 0.001 

TABLE 2. Hindlimb measurements (mm) for L 

Pelvis lenglh 

Pelvis breadth 

Femur length 

Femur shaft diameter 

Tibia length 

Tibia shaft diameler 

Fibula length 

Fibula breadth 

* P < 0.05 f ** P < 0.01, *** P < 0.001 

L. latifrons 

V. ursinus 
























































J 3. 1 


















and V. ursinus. 

L. latifrons 

V. ursinus 


























































A c 

FIGURE 3. Cranial view of the left humerus in (A) L 
latifrons and (B) V. ursinus. Where a, teres tuberosity; 
b, deltoid tuberosity; c, medial epicondyle; d, lateral epi- 
condyloid crest. Scale line is 2 cm. 


FIGURE 5. Craniomedial v 

iew of the left radius in (A) 
V. ursinus and (B) L. latifrons. Where a, neck; b, radial 
tuberosity; c, arrowed, styloid process. Scale line is 2 cm. 


FIGURE 4. Lateral view of the left ulna in (A) V. ursinus 
and (B) L, latifrons. Where a, olecranon; h, arrowed, 
coronoid process; c. arrowed, pit For Ihe radial tuberosity; 
d, styloid process. Scale line is 2 cm. 


L. latifrons 
Deltoid acutely angled 

tuberosity ridge 

Teres tuberosity small 

Lateral epi- straight caudal shallowly 
condyloid crest border convex proxi- 

mally, concave 

V. ursinus 
shallow angled 



(i) crantoproxi 
mal surface 

(ii) viewed 




(i) Depression 
for radial 

(ii) Lateral 

L, latifrons K ursinus 


large process 

cranial surface sickle-shaped 
parallel to 
caudal surface 




larger circular 

Hat proximally, concave 

and concave 


,*?,?•?* Proximal view of ^ft radial carpal bone in 
(A) L latifrons and (B) V. ursinus. Where a, radial surface- 
b. palmar tuberosity; c, medial tubercle. Proximal view 
of right ulnar carpal bone in (C) L. latifrons and (D) V 
ursinus. Where d, palmar tuberosity; e T ulnar surface. Scale 
line is 5 mm. 



L. latifrons V. ursinus 
shallow con- deeply concave 
cavity proximal 
to radial 


Lateral surface flat 

Distal forelimb 
Radial carpal bone: 

deep oblique 



A. latifrons 


Medial tubercle small and 

V. ursinus 

massive and 




Ulnar carpal hone; 

Third carpal bone: 

L. latifrons 

V. ursinus 

L latifrons 

V. ursinus 


large and 

broad and 

Ulnar articular small and oval 

large, concave 





and semi- 




Proximal sulcu 


Accessory car- small 

pal articular 


circular with 
lateral tubercle 

Fourth carpal bone: 

L, latifrons 
Palmar artic- small and 

V. ursinus 
large arid deep 

Palmar facet 
elongate for 3rd 
and 4th carpal 


ular facet for 
4th and 5th 






broad at its 

Accessory carpal bone: 


L. latifrons 
Ulnar carpal lateral border 
articular facet short and 


V. ursinus 

lateral border 

Body of ulnar shallow fossa 
carpal separated 
from hamulus 

deep fossa 

Medial prox- 
imal tubercle 




broad and Hat constricted in 


No consistent gross morphological differences were 
found for the first carpal bone, second carpal bone, 
metacarpals or phalanges. 


L. latifrons V. ursinus 

Iliac crest 

(i) points points caudally 

laterally and 'sickle-shaped' 

forms sharp 

angle with body 

of ilium pointed 

(ii) lateral 

extremity broad 

Iliac fossa 

present absent 


large small 


Ramus of 

same width as half width of 

pubic bone 

pubic bone bet- pubic bone bet 


FIGURE 7. Proximal view of the right accessory carpal 
bone in (A) L. latifrons and (B) V. ursinus. Where a, 
proximal face! for the ulnar carpal bone; b, constricted 
shaft. Medioproximal view of the right 3rd carpal bone 
in (C) Li latifrons and (D) V, ursinus. Where c, medial 
process; d, sulcus; e, articular surface for 3rd metacarpal. 
Proximal view of the right 4th carpal bone in (£) A. 
latifrons and (F) V. ursinus. Where f, hamulus; g, articular 
facet for ulnar earpa) bone; h» fossa. Scale line is 4 mm. 

ween the obtur- ween the obtur- 
ator foramina ator foramina 

Rectus femoris deep fossa on indistinct 
m. origin body of ilium 

Surface area of approximately 
Ischiatic table same as obtur- 
ator foramen 


20 mm wide at 
point of maxi- 
mum width 

much smaller 

40 mm wide 



;■■•:: ::: : ; 

' v.v 



i^% * 


FIGURE 8- Ventral view of the pelvis in (A) L latifrons antl (B) V. ursinus. Where a, iliac crest; b, arrowed, iliopeetineal 
eminence; c, arrowed, pecten; d, obturator foramen; c, acetabulum; f, ischiatic table; g, ischiatic tuberosity. Scale 
line is 2 cm. 




FIGURE 9. Dorsal view of right epipubic bone in (A) L. 
futifrons and (B) V. ursinus. Where a, articular surface 
for pecten of pubis; b. arrowed, proximal tubercle; c, shaft. 
Scale line is 2 cm. 

FIGURE 10. Cranial view of left femur in (A) /.. latifrons 
and (B) V. ursinus. Where a, head; b, greater trochanter; 
c, 3rd trochanter; d» lesser trochanter; e, medial condyle. 
Scale line is 2 cm. 

Epipubic bone 


Articular sur- 
face for pectin 
o( pubic bone 

L. latifrons 

elongate with 
medial surface 
much broader 

V. ursinus 
narrow elongate 
with parallel 


L. latifrons 
deeply grooved 

V. ursinus 



than lateral 




Proximal ven- 



tral surface 
Lateral tubercle 










— a 

FIGURE II. Lateral view of left tibia in (A) /.. lutifrons 
and (B) t ur&inus. Where a, arrowed, medial intercondylar 
eminence: b. arrowed, articular surface For fibula. Scale 
line is 2 cm. 


Medial inter- 



/., Uuifmns 
same size as 

Lateral condyle 

(i) lateral almost flat 


(ii) articular circulai 

surface for 

lateral condyle 

of femur 

V. ursinus 

latgei I haii 



(plantar view) 

/.. lutifrons K ursttms 
rounded, square 

medial surfaces 

Distal hindlitnh 

Tarsal bone morphology varied considerably within 
each genus. No diagnostic differences were found 
between the two wombat genera for the tibiolarsal, 
fibular tarsal, central tarsal bones, or for 1st, 2nd, 
3rd and 4th tarsal bones. No morphological differ- 
ences were observed for the metatarsals and 

Distt SSION 

This Study found that a number of the morphea 
logical features claimed by Murie (1867) as being 
diagnostieally significant for separating the fore-limb 
bones o( L. Uuifmns from those of \. ursinub are 
not reliable. For instance Murie's claim ihai a 
marked difference exists between the proportion of 
length to breadth of the scapula of the iwo wombat 
taxa (56% in L. lutifrons and 72'Vo in V. ursinus) 
was found to be marginal. Other differences such 
as scapula shape and curvature of the scapular 

spine, as well as the varialions in depth of (he sulcus 
for the bicipital lendon as described by Murie (1867) 
were found to be inconsistent and of no diagnostic- 

Likewise Murie (1X67) claimed that the anterior 
border of the ilium points downwards in I. 
lutifrons, but outwards in K ursinus, and that the 
femoral shaft breadth is greatest in L lutifrons. He 
also reported thai the fibula length was equal in 
both wombat genera, and that the fibula shaft Wfifl 
straighler in L. tatifrons. None o\ these findings art 
supported in this study. 

The current study tabulates a number of diag- 
nostic morphological differences allowing many 
individual wombat bones of the appendicular skele- 
ton to be identified to generic level. In addition to 
this it was noted that the scapula of I' ursinus bears 
a larger surface area for the insertion of M, 
trapezius and M. deltoidius than does the scapula 
of L, tatifrons. However, the L laiifrons scapula 
possesses a larger and more developed surface loi 
(he insertion of M. rhomboideus and M, serratus 
ventralis. The significance Of this difference in 
muscle insertion sites is reflected not only in 
differences in the overall structural mechanics of 
the thoracic limb of the two wombat taxa, but also 
in differences in their burrowing and locomotor 

For example, R ursinus more readily accommo- 
dates the actions of the trapezius muscle to elevate 
and protract the limb and the dcltoideus muscle to 
flex the shoulder joint as well as to lift the humerus, 
By contrast L. lutifrons is more adapted to accom- 
modate the action of rhomboideus muscle which 
elevates and retracts the limb and shoulder, The 
ventral serrate muscle supports the trunk, and 
carries the trunk forward or backward. These 
features are probably linked to L. tatifrons being 
a plains dweller which digs burrows into a flat, 
usually limestone-underlaid, topography; while K 
ursinus is an inhabitant of the mountainous 
eucalyptus forests, and commonly resorts to digging 
its burrows into decomposed granite. 

The bones of the forearm in both genera are well 
adapted for pronation and supination, both impor- 
tant prerequisites for their burrowing. Il *9 also 
evident, that except for relative size, the general 
overall morphological structure oT the forelimb 
skeleton in the wombat is guile similar to those of 
the kangaroo and the koala. 

Ultimately, differences in forelimb osteology of 
L. tatifrons and I ursinus can he explained by 
reference to differences in their myology and 
structural mechanics. Sonntag (1923), and more 
recently Hildebrand (1974) have set the lead in this 
respect. However, Sonntag only looked at the myo- 
logy of V. ursinus* while Hildebrand only consid- 
ered the structural mechanics of the fore limb of L 
laiifrons. In both cases their work was generalised 



and did not attempt to explain the functional 
anatomy of the two wombat genera. 

Of all the hindlimb bones studied, the pelvis 
shows more pertinent morphological differences 
between the two extant wombat species, However, 
relating these differences to the functional anatomy 
of the pelvis, and the hindlimb in general, awaits 
comprehensive information on the musculature of 
the hindlimb in the two wombat species. No detailed 
work has been done on wombat hindlimb myology. 
Waterhouse (1846), Macalister (1850), Sonntag 
(1923), and Elftman (1929) provided only general 
information on wombat (V. ursinus) musculature. 
Their studies described the origins and insertions 
of a small number of muscle groups, but lacked 
detail, definitions and figures. In most instances 
they are of little value for interpreting the functional 
musculoskeletal anatomy of the pelvic region of the 
two wombats. 

Although this paper has compared the ost- 
eological differences of the hindlimb of L latifrons 

and K ursinus, the interpretation of these differ- 
ences in terms of their respective functional ana- 
tomy awaits a detailed investigation of the myology 
of the pelvic limb, 


We would like to lhank Dr C.P. Groves, Australian 
National University; Dr T. Flannery, Australian Museum, 
Dr D Horton, Institute of Aboriginal Studies; Joan Dixon, 
National Museum of Victoria; Dr R. Molnar, Queensland 
Museum; Dr C. Kemper, South Australian Museum, for 
making material available to us; and Dr D. Kitchener, 
Western Australian Museum for the specimens used in the 
photographs. Drs C.P. Groves and D. Horton both gave 
valuable advice and support over the duration of the 
project. We wish to thank Mr G. Griffiths for photography 
and Ms D. Passmore for so carefully typing the paper and 
earlier drafts, The project was primarily supported by an 
Australian National Universitv Research Grant, 


BEWICK, T. 1800. 'History of Quadrupeds*. 4th <?d. Be- 
wick, Newcastle. 

CUNNINGHAM, D.J. 1882. Voyage of H.MS. Chal- 
lenger. Zool. V(xvi): 1-92. 

DE VIS, C.W. 1892. Remarks on post-tertiary Phaseo- 
lomyidae. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.tV, 6(2): 235-246. 

ELFTMAN, H.O. 1929. Functional adaptation of the 
pelvis in marsupials. Bull. American Mus. Nat. Hist. 
mil: 189-232. 

FLINDKRS, M. 1801. "Observations on the coasts of Van 
Dicmcn's Land, on Bass Strait and its islands, and on 
part oi' the coasts of New South Wales'. John Nichols, 

HK.DEBRAND, M. 1974. 'Analysis of Vertebrate 
Structure'. Wiley, New York. 

HABfc'L, R.fc (> KREWE1N, J., SACK, WO. (F.ds) 1983. 
'Nomina Anaiomica Veterinaria'. 3rd Ed. International 
Committee on Veterinary Anatomical Nomenclature, 
Ithaca, New York. 

MACAI ISTER, A, WO. On the myology ot the wombat 

and Tasmaman devil. Ann, Mag. Nat. Htst. 4 (5); 

MURIE, J. 1867. On the identity of the hairy-nosed 
wombat iPhascohtnys lasiorhinus Gould) with flic 
broad-nosed wombat (P. latifrons Owen). Proc. Zool. 
Soc, tomi 1867: 838 854. " 

OWEN, R. 1838. On the osteology of the Marsupialia. 
Trans. Zooi Snc. Land, 26: 379-412. 

SCOTT, H.H. 1915. Some notes on the humeri of wom- 
bats. Queen Vidi Mus. Latmceston Brochure No. 5. 
Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston. 

SHAW, G. 1800. 'General Zoology*. Kearsley, London. 

SIMPSON, G.G.. Roc, A. & Lcwon'tin, R.C. 1960. 'Quan- 
titative/oology'. Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., New 

SONNTAG, CK 1923. On rhe myology and classification 
of the wombat, koata and phalangers. Proc. Zool. Soc. 
land tM23: H63-896. 

WATERHOUSE, G.R. 1846. TMatural HiMory or the 
Mammalia*. Vol. i: Marsuptalia. 




Two new larval mites are described, ectoparasitic on cicadas from Cape York Peninsula, 
Queensland : Leptus torresianus sp. nov. on Venustria superba Goding & Froggatt and Tamasa 
doddi Goding & Froggatt; Caeculisoma mouldsi sp. nov. on the same two species of cicadas and 
also on Mardalana suffusa Distant and Psaltoda fumipennis Ashton. Leptus torresianus larvae were 
attached to the denser chitin of the cicadas (first leg tibiae). Most Caeculisoma mouldsi larvae were 
attached to the wing veins, on both surfaces of both pairs of wings. 



SOUTHCOT I, R.V. 1988. *fwo new larval miles (Acarina: Krythraeidae) eetoparasitic on north 
Queensland cicadas, /ice. S., Mux, 22(2): 103-116. 

I wo new larval miles arc described, eeioparasiiic on cicadas from Cape York Peninsula, 
Queensland: Leptus (orresiunus sp. nov. on Venustna superba Coding & Froggau and Tamasa 
dottdi Cioding Ik Kroggalt; C.'utxutisrfmu niouldst *p, nov, on the same two species of cicadas 
and also on MarclaUtna suffusa Dislant and Psaltoda fumipetmis Ashton. leptus lanesiamis 
larvae were attached lo the denser chitin of the cicadas (first leg libiae), Mosi Cueculhoma moulds'* 
larvae were attached to the wing veins, on both surfaces of both pairs of wings. 

R.V. Southeoti, Honorary Research Associaic, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, 
South Australia 5000. Manuscript received 24 August 1987. 

Frythracid larval mires attach as ectoparasites ro 
a wide variety of terrestrial arthropods (insects, 
collembolarts, arachnids) (Oudcmans 1912; South- 
cot r l94o, 1961b; Greenslade&Soulhcotl 1980; Wcl- 
bourn 1983). Various host usages of cicadas have 
been recorded. Ishii (1953) recorded that Leptus 
kyushuensis Ishii (Leplinac) parasitized three spe- 
cies in Japan; Grapiosaltrta cohrata (Stal), Mel' 
munu opulifera (Walker) and Platypleura kaempfert 
Matsumara; from New Zealand Momnrangia jack 
soni Southcott (Callidosornatinae) was recorded 
from Mclampsalta oromclaena Meyers, and Momo- 
rattgkt vulluta Southcoit was recorded from Mel- 
ampsalta orome/aena and Melampsalfa sp. (South* 
cott 1972); Wclbourn (1983; 138) recorded Leptus 
sp, on Magicicada septendecim (L.) in the United 

Various eryihraeid mite larvae have been found 
ou other Homoptera eg, in the families Alcyro- 
didae, Aphididae, Ccrcopidac, Cieadcllidac, Delph- 
acidae, Fulgoridae, Membracidae, Psyllidae (e.g. 
Oudemans 1910, 1912; Pussard & Andre 1929; 
Southcott 1946, 1961b, 1966, !972; Andre 1951; 
Kawashima 1958, !96ta, b; Smiley 1968; Somermaa 
1973; Tseng el al. 1976; Yano & Ehara 1982; Wei- 
bourn 1983; Young & Wclbourn 1987). 

Mr M.S. Moulds, Sydney, N.S.W., observed (pers. 
cornm. 1987) small red miles parasitizing cicadas 
in north Queensland,, and forwarded six pinned 
cicadas. Five of them had dried mites attached to 
(he legs, wings and thorax, which represent two Un- 
described species of Lrythraeidae larvae. These arc 
described below as leptus torresianus sp, nov. and 
Cacculisoma mouldst sp. nov. (Fig. I A- D. shows 
a cicada and mites in situ). 

Seta and other terminology follows Southcoit 
(1961a, b, c; 1963, 1972). All measurements are in 
micrometres (/tm) unless otherwise stated. Two new 
shield measurements A AS and LX are introduced 

here. AAS is the distance between centres of bases 
of AL scutala and ASens of the same side. LX is 
the distance of the levels of the AL scutalae behind 
the anteiomost point of the scutum, (see Figs 
2A-E). These measurements introduce a slight 
redundancy, since 


(-^-Vi WM* 

assuming perfect symmetry. Nevertheless, they 
appear useful in specific diagnoses of erythraeid 

The types of both species are deposited ui the 
South Australian Museum. 

Genus Leptus Latreille, I796 

For synonymy see Southcott (1961b: 5I4), 

Diagnosis (for larva) 

See Southcoit (1961b. 5I4). 


This is a cosmopolitan genus, with many specie-. 
having been described as adults, and others as 
larvae. Although in some cases correlation between 
larvae to deutonymphs had been recorded (South- 
cott I961b; 5I7-521), a full correlation of a larva 
to the deulonymph and adult in Leptus (an un- 
identified North American species) was achieved 
only in 1 973, by Treat (1975). 

Larvae parasitise a wide variety of terrestrial 
arthropods (Oudemans I9I2, Southcott 196lb, 1 984; 
Treat I975; Wclbourn 19831 . 





}■ IGURF I . North Queensland cicada and its eetoparasitic miles. A, cicada, Venustria superba G, &. I\, A2824, pre- 
served dry, with eetoparasitic larval eiythracid mile. 1 * in situ, serials ACA2308, 2309. Mite Y, attached to right tibia 
I is Leptus torresianus sp. nov., holoiype, ACA2308. Other mites arc Caeculisoma mouldsi sp. nov., ACA2309 series; 
mite J, attached to inferior surface of left hind wing is holotype of C. mouldsi. B, holotype of L. torresianus, attached 
to lateral end distally of right tibia I. C, mites, C. mouldsi, specimens ACA2309B, C, D attached to vein of dorsal 
surface of left anterior wing. D, mite ACA2309Z, C. mouldsi, seen in transparency, attached to wing vein on inferior 
surface of left posterior wing. All drawings to nearest scale. 

Ijepfus torresianus sp. nov. 
(Figs 3A, B, 4A, B, 5) 

Description of Larva ( principally holotype, supple- 
mented by paratypes) 

Colour in dried state ted. idiosoma (mounted) 
of normal ovoid shape for genus, length {partially 

fed) 897, width 498, overall length from tip of 
mouthparls to posterior pole of idiosoma 1118. 

Dorsal scutum moderately sclerotized, and forms 
approximately an equilateral triangle. Central part 
of its anterior border produced to a low protuber- 
ance, containing the anterior sensilla. Lateral bor- 
ders short, sloping anterolaterals. Posterolateral 






\>H. LatCxIII 


FIGURE 2. Explanatory diagrams for conventions of abbreviations and measurements used for the larval erythraeid 
mites. A, dorsal scutum of a larval erythraeid mite with two pairs of scutalae (Leptus). B, dorsal scutum of a larval 
erythraeid mite with three pairs of scutalae (Caeculisotna). C, dorsal view of Caeculisoma sp., with legs omitted beyond 
trochanters. Oc. 'ocular seta'; MDS mid-dorsal setae; PDS posterior dorsal setae. 




borders concave. 

Posterior pole of scutum rounded, Dorsum of idiosoma with 50 setae, slightly cia- 

enclosed in two narrow bars of chitin not meeting vate 

, with pigmented but only slightly outstanding 

in the middle. Scutal scobalae curved, bluntec 

, a setules; 

setae arranged approximately 4, 6, 8, 8, 8, 

little clavate, with dense covering of short, pointed, 8, 4 


pigmented seniles. Sensillary setae filiform, with Ventral surface of idiosoma 

sternalae I bushy, 

fine setules distally. 



more or less parallel- 

sided, sternalae II 

Standard and other data of scutum and legs as simi 

lar, 40 long; between levels of coxae II and III 

in Table 1. 



setae, anterior pair (sternalae III) bushy, 

Eyes circular, 

1 + 1, posterolateral to scutum, 

24 expanding, 26 long, and posterior pair (sternalae 



more medial, bushy but more slender, 42 long. 

TABLE L Standard data Cor Leptus torresiant4s sp. nov. larvae. 


Para type 






















































































57 J* 





























































Gel 1 1 























































Cxi 11 





Til /AW 

























*For the maxima 

of DS 

i Mttvu. mites ON CICADAS 


Between and behind coxae lit 16 setae, 38-50 long, 
arranged 4, 4, 6, 2; setae well setulose, blunted, 
slightly expanding, posteriors tending to be more 
elavate and resembling posterior dorsal idiosotrtalae. 
Coxalae I, I, I, arising as figured, Coxa la I parallel- 
sided, terminally tapering lo a blunted point, and 
carrying many Tine, pointed seniles; coxalae II, III 
blunied, well seiutosc, somewhat clavatc. 

tjegs normal; lengths (including coxae and claws) 
I 935, Jl 860, ill 1015. 

Leg specialized sensory setae (lengths in 
parentheses): SoGel.42d(29), SoGel.59d(29), Vs- 
Gel,92d(6>. SoTil.6Gd<35), SoTil.75d<42>. 
SoTiI.87d(25), VsTil ( 89pd<5». VsGeU.9lpd(9), 
SoTtlI.04d<29), SoTill.S8d<23). SoTill i.03d(36). 

Tarsus 1 with SoTal.62d(38); tarsus 11 with 
SolalI.42d(l8l. Tarsal claws; anterior almost straight 
with terminal ventral hook; middle longest, 
falciform, smooth; posterior recurved, with ventral 
sctules (see Kg. 3). 

Gnalhosoma: ehelicerae with rounded posterior 
element to bases, smooth, tapering io long anterior 
projections; length 205, maximum widih of bases 
122; ventral surface with faint transverse striatums 
With two pairs of hyposlomalae, pointed, nude; 
anterior dorsal, 20 long, posterior venlral (also near 
tip of hypostome) C 60 long. Palpal setal formula 
0, 0, I, I, 3, 7, Palpal femorala and genuala well 
setulose, tapering, pointed* not davate. tibialae 
setulose. i*alpal supracoxala not identified. Palpal 
tibial claw smooth-, wilh a single terminal hook 

they also have two palpal femoral setae (scobalae) 
— these being L. ech'mopus Bcron, 1975, from 
Bulgaria, with five spirralae on genu I, and L. south 
cotii Beron, 1975, from Bulgaria, with two spinalac 
on genu 1. 

Remarks on biology 

!.c[j(us larvae appear generally to prefer hard, 
heavily ehitinized parts of their hosts on which to 
attach by their mouthparts e_g. tibia in the case of 
L torresianus Treat (1975: 224) has also com- 
mented on this preference of an unnamed North 
American larval L-epfus for an externally exposed 
sclerohzed area: There is no seeking of soft mem- 
branes or crevices'. They are presumably able to util- 
ize a small apparently mobile tooth on Ihe lip of 
the chelieeral digits [see Fig. 4B) as a gouging or 
boring piece. 


The specific name is from the Torresian region 
of northern Australia 

Genus Caeeulisoina Beilese, 1888 

For synonymy see Southeott (!9<>ib: 524. 1972: 25). 

Diagnosis (for larva) 
Sec Southcort (197> 25). 

Material examined 

Holoiype.- Queensland: C RE B. |a Queensland 
Regional Electricity Board) Road, nr Mt Hemmant, 
N of Daintree, 2.U984, M.S. & B»J. Moulds, in 
rainforest; larva attached to lateral aspect of distal 
end of R. tibia I of cicada Venustria superba 
Goding & Froggatt (A2824) {see Fig. IA, B), 
NI9H7194 (ACA2308), 

Paratopes: Mt Hartley, nr Roseville, S o\' 
Conklown, l.i I9R4, M S. & B J. Moulds, on d.sial 
end of R, tibia I of cicada Tamasa doddi (Goding 
& Froj^atl) (A2826). two larvae N1987195 and 
Niy*7l% (ACA23IIA, B). 

Remarks on taxonomy 

Leptus torresianus sp. nov. is placed in the group 
of Leptus larvae with one femoral seta and one 
genual seta on the palp, which includes Ihc majority 
of described members of the genus. However it dif- 
fers from all described larvae with the preceding 
character set in having two specialized sensory setae 
(spinalae or solenoidalac) on leg genu I. All others 
of this group have only one spinogenuala, except 
L, stieglmayri (Oudemans, 1905) from Brazil, which 
has live (Oudemans I9J2: 165), Someothet Leptus 
larvae have two or more such setae on genu 1, but 

Cavculisoma moulds/ sp. nov. 
(Figs 6A-C\ 7 A, B, H) 

Description of larva (principally from holoiype. 
supplemented by paratypes) 

Colour in dried state red. Idiosoma (mounted) 
of normal ovoid shape, length (partially fed) 600; 
width 385; overall length from tip of mouthpart-v 
to posietior pole of idiosoma 7J0. 

Dorsal scutum approximately oval, with slightly 
concave anterior margin and rounded anterolateral 
angles. Anterolateral borders almost straight; post- 
erolateral boaters evenly rounded. Posterior sen- 
sillary bosses protrude a little at posterior pole of 
scutum. Scuialae curved, tapering, blunted, lightly 
setulose with adnate sctules. Sensiliary setae fili- 
form, with a few distal sctules, 

Standard data as in Table 2. 

Fyes 1 + 1, circular, 22 across 

Dorsal idiosoma setae curved, tapering, pointed, 
with a few adnate setules; arranged 2, 7, 6, 6, 4, 
4 ? total 29. 

Ventral surface of idiosoma: sternalae curved, 
tapering, pointed, with a few setules; II 40 long. III 
36. Behind coxae 111 about 12 similar setae, 33-3* 
long, arranged 4, 4, 2, 2. Coxaia t slender, tapering. 









p aScTi2 



FIGURE 3. Leptus torresianus sp. nov., larva, holotype. A, dorsal view, legs omitted beyond trochanters. B, palpal 
tibia and tarsus, dorsal view. (Each to nearby scale.) 




1 50 

FIGURE 4. Leptus torresianus sp. nov., larva, holotype. A, ventral view, legs omitted beyond trochanters. B, tip of 
gnathosoma, ventral view. (Each to nearby scale.) 



TABLE 2. Data on larvae of Caeculisoma mouldsi sp. nov. 




































































































































































































Gel I 























































































































LatCxII I 










































*For maxima of these setae 

pointed, with a few setules. Lateral coxala II curved, 
blunted, lightly setulose, lateral III similar; medial 
coxalae II, III as described for coxala I. 

Legs normal; lengths (including coxae and claws): 
I 790, II 750, III 915. 

Leg specialized sensory setae (lengths in 
parentheses): SoGeI.85d(36), VsGeI.90pd(5). 
SoTil.65d(60), CpTiI.73d(7), SoTiI.74d(55), 

VsTiI.87pd(5). VsGeII.92pd(5). SoTiI1.07d(51), 
SoTiIL79d(27). SoTiIII.06d(50). 

Tarsus I with SoTaI.33d(48); long, tapering, 
pointed. Tarsus II with SoTaII.43d(31), terminally 
expanding a little, blunted. Tarsal claws as for genus, 
all falciform. The posterior tarsal claw is somewhat 
obtusely-angled about halfway along, with a few 
ventral setules. 





FIGURE 5. Lepius torresianus sp. nov., larva, holotype. Legs 1, II, III, to standard symbols. Inset: tip of tarsus I, 
dorsal view. The symbol A indicates that the seta is shown in both drawings of the leg or other structure, a, m, p 
indicate anterior, middle and posterior tarsal claws, respectively. Vs vestigiata. So is used for tarsal solenoidala, Sp 
for other teg solenoidala (spinala), as in author's terminology. 






FIGURE 6. Caeculisoma mouldsi sp. nov., larva, holotype. A, dorsal view, legs omitted beyond trochanters. B, dorsa! 
scutum. C, dorsal idiosomal seta. (Each to nearest scale.) 



FIGURE 7. Caeculisoma moulds! sp. nov., larva, holotype. A, ventral view, legs omitted beyond trochanters. B, palpal 
tibia and tarsus, ventral view, from paratype ACA2310D (not to scale). 






S P, 








*# W* 










A A 



FIGURE 8. Caecutisoma mouldsi sp. nov., larva, holcrtype. Legs I, IF, III, to standard symbols, as in Fie. 5- Cp 
companala; Fa famala. ' ' 



Gnatbosorna; chelieeral bases pyrifor.m, smooth, 
120 long by 93 wide (combined). Galeala smooth, 
simple, pointed, 27 long. Hypostomala arises anter- 
ior to palpal trochanter*, 40 long, with several long 
^etuies. Palpal anal formula 0, 0, I, I, 3, 7. Palpal 
lernorala tapering, pointed, well setulose, r 42 long. 
Palpal genuala lapenng, pointed, 27 long, with a 
few setuies. Palpal tibialae pointed, with a Tew set- 
tiles. Palpal tibial claw bifid, the dorsal tine weak 
Palpal larsus as figured. Gnathosornal supracoxala 
a blunted peg, 4 long. 

Material examined 

Hoto/ypc: Queensland: C.R.E.B, Road, nr Mt 
Hcmniant, N. of Daintree, 2.U9K4, M.S. & B.J. 
Moulds, in rainforest, on wing of cicada Vrnustria 
superha G. & F (A2824), larva N 19871 97 (ACA- 

Paratopes: Same data as holoiype, nine larvae 
N1987I98-N1987206 (ACA2309A-D, H, K-N). Mt 
Hartley, nr Roseville, S. of Cooktown, U.J984, M.S. 
& B.J. Moulds, on Venustria superba G. & F ( 
(A2825), 27 larvae NW87207-N1987233 (ACA- 
2310A-/, ZA). Same locality, date and collectots, 
on cicada A2826 Tamasa doddi {G. & R)« two larvae 
NI987234, NI987235 (ACA2312A, B). Same 
locality, date and collectors, on cicada A2827 
Mardaiana sufjusa Distant, nine larvae 
Nt98723fi-N|9H7244 (AC A23I3A-I). Same locality, 
date add collectors, on cicada A2829 Psaltoda 
fumtpennis Ashton, three larvae N 1 987245- 
NI987247 (ACA2314A-C), 

Remarks on distribution and taxonomy 

Caeculisoma was founded by Berlese (1888; 186) 
on two adult mites referred to C tuberculatum 
Berlese, 1888, one collected undet decomposing 
fungi at Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the other 

from under tree bark at Asuncion, Paraguay. Cor- 
relation with rhe larva was established by Southcott 
(1961a, b) for the Australian C darwinieme South 
coll, 1961- The species arc known only from South- 
ern Hemisphere locations, and larvae have been 
described only from Australia arid New Zealand. 
C. darwinieme is known from Northern Territory, 
Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and 
Western Australia, recorded hosts being Acmhdae 
(Orthoptera); C cooremunt Southcott, 1972, is 
known from Western Australia (Acrididae); C. 
httxleyi Southcott, 1972, is recorded from New 
Zealand, parasitking Xanthorhoe sp < Lepidoptera: 
Gcometridae), C moulds* > sp. nov. \A known only 
as larvae from a limited area of rTopical Australia 
(Cape York Peninsula), parasitic on cicadas. 

For a discussion on the generic classification of 
the tribe Callidosomatini, see Treat (1985) and 
Southcott (1988). 

in the key to the larvae ol Caetufisoma 
(Southcott 1972; 25-26), C. mou/dsi comes down 
to caption (3), which may be replaced by: 

3 (2) PD setae in range 20-30/im long 

. C. sparnoni Southcott 

PD setae in range 40-90/un long . 4 

4 (3) PD setae in range 40-60^m long - 

,,., , . . G mouldsi sp. nov. 

PD setae in range 70-90//m long 

C huxleyl Soulhcott (New Zealand) 


The species is named for the collectots. 

ACkNOWl | ptiVHW 

1 lhauk ihc Australian Biological Kesources Study Pen 


MNIiRG, M. 1951. Nouvellesobsetvauons sur Ic Hochartia 

kuvperi Oudemans (acaricn), Butt. Mas, >/*5/. Nat. t 

fym (2) 23 (3): 253-255. 
BC-kirsI', A IKHK. Acari Austro-Americani quoscaltegii 

AIovmus Bat/an. Bolt. Soc. £M. Hat. JO- 171-222- 
R.PRON, P. 1975. Lrythraeidae (Aeariformcsj larvaires dc 

Bulgurit- Actu ZOOlc&iVO huty,arica I; 45-75. 

Parotitic mites on sminttmrid Collembola in Australia. 

I'Mtomofogh-t^ man* Mug. 116: 85-87. 
ISHII, Y. 1953. A new species of Leptus from Kyushu 

(Ai-armo: Hryttiraeidae). Tgat&l Kt'nkyuu (Acta medical 

23 \ L )y UiO-163 
k"AWA5JHIMA, K |SISt)» Sadies on larval erythracid mites 

parasitic on arthropods from Japan (Acarma: 

biyihraciUac). Kntshu i wed. Set. 9: 190-211. 
K'WVAStHMA, K. LStfiuV Notes on larval mites of the 

IjtmuS Chatietf'ttiu Oudcruans, 1910 in Japan (Acarina: 

r.i vihraeidae). Kyushu J. writ. Sri. 12 <)): 15-19. 

KAVVASM1MA, K. 1961b, On the occurrence of 1he genu* 
t-rvthraeus latreille in Japan, with kev to known genera 
anil species of Japanese larval Eryihruridae t Acarina). 
Kyushu J. mvd. So. U (5); 23 v 239. 

I ATREILLL. P.A. 1796. Precis ties caracteresgcneriqucs 
des jnseele** disposes dans un ordre naturel. Prevot, 
I'aris & F. Bourdcaux, Brivc. 

OUDtMANS, AC. 1905. Acarologische aanteekeningcn 
XVIII, Int. Ber., Amst. I (24): 236-241. 

OUDFMANS, A.C. 19|0. Acarologtscheaantcekeningcn 
XXXI. tint. Ber., Amst. 5 (52): 47-51. 

OUOHMANS, A.C, 19(2, Die bisjeut bekannten Urvcn 
von Thrombidndae uud Erythraeidae mit besondercr 
Berucksicluigung dcr liir den Menscheit schadlichcn 
Arten loal Jb, Abt. I. Suppi. XIV, No. |: 1-230 

PUSSAkD, R. & ANDKE, M. 192V Note sur RnchaMa 
kuvpen Oudrm.. acaricn parasite de puceroti*. Rcvuc 
Path. Wte Ent. axric. Ft. J6 (9 ft I0>: 29^-302. 



SMI I EY, R.I.. 1968. A new genus and three new species 
of Erythraeoidea (Acarina: Erythraeidae and 
Smarididae). Proc. ent. Soc. Wash. 70 (I): 13-21. 

SOMERMAA, K, 1973. Versuche mil chernischer 
Bckampt'ung von Juvesetla peltucida (P.) (Hem,, 
Delphaeidae) und Beobachtungeu iiber Raubmilben 
(Acar., Prosligmala und Gamasina). Meddn Si. 
VQxiskAnsi 15 (150): 357-370. 

SOLJTHCOTT, R.V. 1946. Studies on Australian Eryth- 
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SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1961a. Notes on the genus Caecu- 
tisoma (Acarina: Erythraeidae) with comments on the 
biology oT the Ervthraeoidea. Trans, R. Soc. S. Aust, 
84: 163-178. 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1961b. Studies on the systematic* and 
biology of the Ervthraeoidea (Acarina), with a critical 
revision of the genera and subfamilies. Aust. J. Zooi 
9 (3): 367-610. 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1961c. Description of two new Aust- 
ralian Smarididae (Acarina), with remarks on chaeto- 
taxy and geographical distribution. Trans. R, Soc, X. 
Aust. 85: 133-153. 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1963. The Smarididae (Acarina) of 
North and Central America and some other countries. 
Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 86: 159- 245. 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1966. Revision of the genus Charle- 
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14 (4): 687-819. 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1972. Revision of the larvae of the 
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observations on post-larval instars. Aust. ./. Zooi, 
Suppl. Ser, 13: 1-84. 

SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1984. Acari from Operation Drake 
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SOUTHCOTT, R.V. 1988. A new Australian larva! callido- 
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TREAT, A.E. 1975. Mites of moths and butterflies. Cor- 
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TREAT, A.E, 1985. Larval Caitidosoma {Acarj, Eryth- 
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WELBOURN. W.C. 1983. Potential use of trombidioid 
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byC.H.S. Waits 


The genus Hydrophilus Muller in Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia is revised and 
descriptions given for each of the 11 species recognised, three of which are new (H. novaeguineae, 
H. viridis and H, infrequens). The following new synonyms are proposed : 1) Hydrophilus 
picicornis (Chevrolat, 1863) = Hydrophilus gayndahensis Macleay, 1871 = Hydrophilus 
sabelliferus Fairmaire, 1 879 = Stethoxus sabellifer Bedel, 1891: 2) Hydrophilus brevispina 
Fairmaire, 1879 = H. scissipalpus Blackburn, 1901: 3) Hydrophilus loriai (Regimbart, 1902) = 
Hydrous gebieni Knisch, 1922a. A key to species is provided. 



WAI [>, i. .U.S. IMKN. Revision fll Au>lrahutt Hxtlrophilti* Muller, 1?G4 (Colcopiera' 
HydrophiUdac;, Hec, s W/.w. \fu\. 22(2): 117 no 

The genu* flydn>phifus Mailer in Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia is 
ivvivd and descriptions given Tor each of Hie li species recognised, three of which 
are new (//. novacatuneac, //. viridis and /A infrequens). The following new synonofuys 
are propped; I) HytirophHus piaconus (C hevmlai, 18631 Hyiirophi/u.'i gtmifJahensh 
Maeleav, *K7I / lvtfrt*phtlu.\ sohcf/ijmts Tan i. nitre, IK79 - Sfethoxus whellifvt Bedel, 
1891:2) ffvtlmpfutus hrevispitta faitmaire, 187 L > - //„ * cissipaipus Blackburn. 1901; 
$) Hydrnphihts IwiQi (Rc^imbuit, (902) = Hy<hmi\ geblSHi Kniseh, 1922a. A key 
to species is provided. 

C .M.S. Wall-.. South Australian Museum, North Ieiraec, Adelaide. South Australia 
5000. Manuscript received K March 1988. 

Among the most prominent of Australian water 
beetles are the large black species of Hydrophilidac 
which belong lo the world-wide genus Hydrophilus 
Midler 1764 (see Balfour-Browne 1941, and Pope 
1985, for discussion ol the use of this name for the 
genus). They are common in collections although 
I hey are seldom abundant in any one waler body. 
An exception occasionally occurs in drying inland 
pools when both adults and larvae of some species 
can be found in large numbers. 

The Australasian species have been revised and 
keys which include the Australasian species have 
hern produced by Bedel (1891), and Regimban 
(1902). But those studies were based on the e\am 
(nation ol lite relatively lew specimens available in 
Europe at the time with the result thai variation 
within species is underestimated. Conversely the 
lack of type material in Australia has led to mis- 
identifications being perpetuated. As a result mal 
erial in Australian collections is usually poorly 

My studies have shown that there arc seven en- 
demic species in Australia, one in New Caledonia 
and two in New Guinea. In addition the common 
Indonesian species, //. pictcurnis, occurs widely in 
New Guinea and eastern Australia. 

tiydrophilus is a world wide genus. Because of 
this 1 have made no attempt to think eladisiically 
about the Australasian species. Suffice to sa> that 
phenolypically they fall into three groups. The 
largest group, characterised by a short stout sternal 
spine and little abdominal pubescence, comprises 
//. latipalptts, //. pedipatptts, H. macmnyx, !l. 
ausftftHSi H, "ovaegitineae, H ctlbipes, and H. 
hrevispitta, A second group, comprising. //. 
pica* amis and H. ioriaand characterised by a very 
long sternal spine and completely pubescent sternal 
segments, is part ol a large group ol Asian species. 
The (trial group comprises two new species, H. 
viridis and H. i/tfreeptetis, which have a short sternal 
spine and Ihe sides oi the abdominal stcrnae 
broadly pubescent, they are also .smaller and stonier 

than most Hydrophthis resr-rnbliru' 
flydrobionwrpha Blackburn in general shape. 

Both adult and larval Hydraphiltts are aquaiii. 
The larvae are large, fleshy and carnivorous, living 
and hunting among the weeds at the edges and 
bottom of shallow ponds. Although frequently 
collected, no larvae of Australian species have yet 
been described, 

Diagnostic characters o\ the genus Hydrophthis 
arc; large (21-46 mm), prominent keel on underside 
produced backwards into a spine of varying length, 
apical margin of clypeus complete, presternum 
deeply sulcate (hood-like) posteriorly to receive apeA 
of sternal keel. 

Specimens were examined from the following, 

AM Australian Museum, Sydney 

ANIC Australian National Insect Collection, 

CSIRO, Canberra 
BMNH British Museum (Natural History), 

CW Private collection Of auihor 

MNHP Museum National d'Mistoire Naturelle, 

NMV Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 
NTM Northern Tetritory Museum and Art 

Gallery, Darwin 
fc.UQ BlUOmOlOgS Department. University 

of Queensland 
QDIM Queensland Department ol Primary 

Indus! ties. Mareeba 
QM Queensland Museum, Brisbane 

SAMA South Australian Museum, Adelaide 
WAM Western Australian Museum. Pertll 


Kt-Y IO Al'NtRAl ASIAN f f>D8< iPifti t \ 

— ttii ol sternal carina reaching beyond 2nd 
abdominal segment, abdominal .segment 



entirely pubescent — , 2 

— Tip of sternal carina not reaching beyond 
2nd abdominal segment, abdominal 
segments with at least central portions 
cent .... .4 3 

2(1) — Front portion of sternal carina wide, 
broadly silicate (Fig. 4) loriai (Regimbart) 

— Front portion of sternal carina narrow, 

narrowly sulcate (Fig. 5) 

pickomis (Chcvrolat) 

3(1) — Abdominal segments with all but central 
portions pubescent, small (IK- 25 mm), 
often olive-greenish 10 

— Abdominal segments only pubescent in 
front angles, usually larger (20-46 mm) 4 

4(}j — Tip of elytron distinctly spincd, up of 
sternal carina reaching to second 
abdominal segment, groove on from edge 
of pronotum reaching past level of inner 

edge of adjacent eye ,,,,,.., 

austraiis Montrou/icr 

— Tip of elytron rounded or weakly spined. 
Tip of sternal carina usually not reaching 
second abdominal segment, groove on 
front edge of pronotum variable , . . 5 

5(4) — Rugose area on front edge of 1st abdo- 
minal segment < '/j length of segment, 
mctalemur robust 6 

— Rugose area on from edge of Jst abdo- 
minal segment 1 2 -Vi length of segment 8 

6(5) — Spine on underside of claw on protarsi of 
female in middle of claw, labial palpi 
thickened particularly in male, claws on 
protarsi of male enlarged, somewhat 
flattened,. outct tW'ice size of inner (Fig. 
14) novaegaineac sp. nov. 

— Spine on underside of claw of protarsi of 
female towards base of claw, labial palpi 
normal, outer claw on protarsi of male 
either grossly enlarged or thin and not 
flattened (Figs 10 &. 16) . . 7 

7(6) — Large (34 40 mm), groove along front 
edge of pronotum usually short, confined 
to extreme sides, proiarsal claws of male 
greatly enlarged, spade-tike, punctures on 
outer face of protibia sharply impressed 
• , muvrortyz (Regimbart) 

— Small (27-35 mm), groove along front 
edge of pronotum usually reaching to level 
of inner border of eye, protarsal claws of 

male subequal but only slightly enlarged, 
punctures on outer face of protibia weak 
brei'ispinu Fairmaire 

8(4) — Smaller (21-30 mm), row of stout setae on 
outer face of protibia to about ' i length 
of tibia, male maxillary palpi of male 
simple albipes Castclnau 

— Larger (30-46 mm), row of stout setae on 
outer face of protibia more than Vi length 
of tibia, male maxillary palpi ol male 
enlarged ,..,,.. 9 

9(8) — Elytral striae relatively weak, sternal car- 
ina in male deeply grooved in front, flat 
in female, male antenna with first and 
second joint greatly expanded, maxillatv 

palpi in male expanded 

pedipalpus (Bedel) 

— Elytral striae well marked, particularly to- 
wards apex, sternal carina of male flat, 
in female with rounded downward 
extention at anterior apex, apex of elytron 
rounded or squared off, male antenna 
with moderately expanded second 
segment, maxillary palpi in male normal 
tatipalpus Castelnau 

10(3) — Small (18-21 mm), light olive green when 
dry, inner edges of rugose areas on 
abdominal segments 2 and 3 not adjacent, 

giving saw-toothed pattern 

, viridis sp, nov. 

I aree (23-25 mm), dark olive-green or 
reddish black when dry, inner edges of 
rugose areas on abdominal segments 2 

and 3 approximately adjacent 

.................. inftvquens sp. nov 

Kydrophilus macronyx (Regimbart) 

Stethoxus macronyx Regimbart, 1902, p. 194. 
Hydrous macron v.v( Regimbart), Knisch, 1924, p. 

Description (number examined II) 

Length 34-39 mm. Oval. Dark olive-green to 
black, appendages lighter, reddish with well marked 
yellowish spots at side of each abdominal segment. 
Most of emarginatc area on elypeus and mem- 
branous area of hind edge of ahdominal segments 
3-4 yellowish. Head with elypeus widely emar- 
ginatc, 60-80 large punctures on Irons area, densely 
covered with small punctures of two sixes, the smal 
let greatly predominating. 



FIGURES 1-5. I, maxillary palpus of male H. latipalpus; 2, H. brevispina\ 3, dilto H. pedipalpus; 4, sternal keel 
of hoiotype of H. loriae; 5, ditto of H. picicornis (holotype of H. sabelliferus). 


■ H - 'AAl |x 

Pronolal punctures as on head, wilh a disiinel 
tuoove around lot era I edge except near exterior 
luud angle, extending lor only a short distance 
aliing from margin, some large punctures tow aids 
side. Elytron punctured a> on head wilh four longi 
Itidinal rows ol scattered large punctures in weak 
etooves, Hanked on each side by row of very small 
punctures, traceable over whole elytron, a little 
more developed towards apes where Ihey remain 
much smaller rhan punctures in main rows. Apex 
ol elytron smoothly rounded. Stctnal carina Hal, 
Wftfl narrow fcrov* on hind section, well marked 
short carina on surface between mesocoxae, spine 
short, blunt reaching to litlle more than : was 
;icuiss lirst abdominal segment. Prosterual pillar 
awIc. scoop-like with guile deep groove lor 
it a vphon ol sternal carina, lateral plate of 
niesosternum short, broad. Mctatihia very broad, 
much larger than width of 2nd abdominal segment, 
Mctaeoxal plates not particularly narrow, aboui 
same width as .lul abdominal seement Pilose 
ponion of 1st abdominal seemem reaches about 
'■j way across segment . Pilose portions p| -.ides o\' 
othei abdominal segments about > width ol 
segment , Hind edge of 1st abdominal seument with 
some well marked punctures. Abdominal segment 
weakly roofed in midline. Groove ground edge Of 
apical abdominal segment complete except tor 
small porlion al lip, 

female: protarsi not expanded [segment 

5 (2>3 .4-1) in len&tht. 

Mule: protarsi as in Pig. 10. Segment 5 massively 
expanded especially on bottom front edge, behind 
this I tap is a row of stout seiac; ^mem 4 and to 
- iQSSCC degree jCSJIKJU J with elongate triangular 
expansion in same ptaue as seamen I ? 
[55»>(I=2=*3 -4) in length), Outer claw massive, 
Hails expanded, almost as latgc as segment 5, in tier 
claw greatly expanded, parallel-sided and flattened. 
1st segment of lapial palpi a little stouter than in 
leniale. Para meres narrow, bent, hooked al tip. 
Aedeagu.x short narrow, spennatheeal opening very 
wide, beyond middle. 


Stefhoxus wucronv:. Reyimban. Rock-hampion, 
in MNMP, One of two specimens used by 
Reditu bar I bW H"t specifically designated us the 
type. Herein designated leelotvpe. 

Dktnhnttan (Tig. l 7 l 
Known only from coastal tcetons of Norilicrii 

Teiniory and Cape York. 


A lai ge species -cadily leeogiiised Iroin the other 
latue Australian species. //, pedipo/pis and H, tali- 
pul/uts, by the robust mctalemurs and the greatly 

enlarged spade like claws on the male protarsi. 
Separated from // novae^uirteue by characters; 
given under that species. 

Additional localities 

N.T. — Darwin AM, Oenpelli NMV, SAMA, 
NTM, OLD — Pt Deuisou AM, Tolga QDPI, 
Ylukala AM. 

Hydrophilus pivivoniis Chcvrolat 

Hydrophiiu^ nificortus Boisduval, 1835, name 
preoccupied by Hydrophilus ruficornkK\m t 1833), 

Hytfro&onn piticornis ChevfoUt, 1S63, p. 204; 

Stetliuxus pktcoreiis fChevrolal). Kedei. IS9I . p. 
31ft: Kuweit. ]«93, p. 91; Regtmbari, 1902, p. 203; 
Ktuseb, 1922b. p. 2; Kniscli, 1024, p. 256. 
Hydrophilus §u) ndahensts Macleay , 1X7 1 . p. 1 24, 
syn. nov.; Blackburn, 1901 p, 129 Hydrous getyrtr 
duhensis (Macleay). Kuwerr, 1893, p. 92; Knisch, 
1924, p 24K. Hydrophilus wbelliferus fairmaire, 
1879, p. 80. syn. nov, Hydrous- sahelliferus (Fair 
maire), Knisch, 1924. p. 248 Srethoxus sabefltfer 
Bedel, 1891, p. 316. syn. nov. (unjustified env-n 
darion of sahellijerus Pairmnire); Regimban, 1902, 
P. 304, HydrQUS sabelli/er (fiedet), Knisch, 1924, 
p. 248. 

Description (number examined 233) 

length 21-32 em. Elongate oval. Dark olive 
green to black, appendages of" head and a dill use 
spot Literally on each abdominal segment reddish- 
brown. Head with clypeus relatively Weakly 
ct'iniriJriale; 40-60 large punctures in Irons at. ;). 
densely punctured with smalt punctures ol two 
sizes, tlie smaller more numerous and minute. 
Pronotinn puneturcd as on head, with a distinct 
groove around lateral edge, except for hind ancle. 
and along front lo about W width of pronotum on 
either side; a few very large punctures towards 
side,, l-lytron wit It very fine reticulation but 
virtually lacking punctures other rhan the following 
except for some very small ones towards apex. Tour 
distinct rows of even punctures, the 1st, 2nd and 
4th, to a lesser degree, with punctures close 
tDgetheV, the 3rd with only a lew sparse punctures, 
Each row flanked on each side by a row o\' very 
small punctures only visible in certain lights. Apex 
o I elytron truncated with or without a small blunt 
spiueoit suiuicilangle. Sternal carina thin, weakly 
and widely grooved in front portion, hind poitiun 
with slighl thin groove, spine greatly elongated, 
sharp, reaching to hind '■": o\ 3rd segment wilh 
tendency to bend downwards towards tip 
Prosiernal pillar squat, deeply and narrowly 
grooved For reception of sternal canny. Mctaeoxal 
plate a little narrower than m<natibia. Meratibia 



about widi h nl 2nd abdominal segment. Pilose area 
on underside completely covering abdominal seg- 
ments, occasionally some thicker golden hairs m 

lentale; prolarsi not expanded [segment 
J? = 2 ■ -0 -}>4) in lengUiJ. 

Atotf. protarsi as, in Fiji 9. FlfUl segment weakly 
expanded almost equal in length to 2nd. Claws 
narrow, curved, ouier considerably larger than 
inner [segment ><<(_> >3>4- I) in length) . 
Parameres elongate, thin, aedeagus thick ai base, 
rapidly tapciing ai tip. Spcrmathccal duet opening 
near lip. 


Hyrtrophtlus ^oyndahensis Macleay. There are 
two specimens in the ANIC (on permanent loan 
I'rom the MactVay Museum) from Gayndah Libelled 
as svniypes. One is a male m good eondilion, Ihc 
other has lost most of its tarsi In addition there 
are two .specimens in AM each labelled Holoiype'. 
Presumably these are the speeirrens designated hy 
McKeowu 1948. Otic, without locality and labelled 
only K 1 9395 ' is a specimen of H. albipes, I he other 
with ilie same number is labelled 'Hydrophilus 
zayndahensis Gayndah' and is a specimen o( H 
xayndaliensis. I feel rea.sonablv certain that the true 
holoiype is among these specimens and herein 
designate the specimen labelled 'I/ydrophilus p,ayn- 
dab&l$fs Gayndah ' in AM as the leetotype and the 
Macleay Museum specimens us paraloclotypes. 

Hydro/torus pultonus Chcvrolat. Not located. 
Type locality given as Cuba by Chevrolet but this 
locality has been discounted by most author:- (cf 
Bedel mi; Knisch 1924). 

Hydrophiias ruffcorttis Boisduval. Not located. 
Type locality, 'Nouvellc HollandcV It is possible 
thai this is the same insect as H. pickornis, It is 
however an occupied name having been used in 
1833 by King for a Madagascar species. 

Hvdruphilus sahelltfertis Fairmaite, male, 
labelled Tlydrophil sabellitcrus Fairm L Viti-leon' 
from collection Leon Fairmaite 1906, in MNHP 
I herein designate it leetotype since u is unclear 
whether rbis is a holoiype or a syniypc- Synonymy 
based on examination ol types and description of 
U pivicortus 


Readily recognisable from all other Australasian 
ffydroplttlas t except H. lariat, by long sternal 
carina, which reaches \fi length of abdomen and 
by the abdominal segments completely covered by 
pilosily; separated from H, lariat by characters 
given under that species. 


Coastal Australia from the kimberly to northern 
New South Wales (Fig. 17), New Guinea and Qthi I 
islands to north of Australia. 

\ widespread species through Indonesia, Nrw 
Guinea, Pacific Islands and northern Australia. 1 
have not seriously studied the northern or western 
geographic boundaries ol l his species but consider 
specimens seen from Vietnam and the Philippines 
should be included. There is a north-soulh trend 
in size with specimens from Sulawesi and the 
Philippines averaging considerably larger than 
those from Australia 

A dditiottal Localities 

W.A. — Drysdale R. \NIC, Mitchell Plateau 
ANIC. QUO Avi ANIC, Bingendcn ANIC, 
Brisbane ANIC, BMNH, Bundaberg ANK C:.iin% 
ANIC, Cooktown QDPI, Fdutigulbu AM« 
Ingham ANIC, Innisfail QDPI, Iron Range ANK 
Lamington Nat. Pk AMC, Mairceba QDPI, Ml 
Spec ANIC, Nambour ANIC. Kavenshoc ANIC. 
Roekhampton AMC, AM, Sam ford ANIC, lolgA 
QDPI, Tully ANIC N.i ■■ Adelaide K. N I M 
Cobourg Pen. ANIC, Daly River Crossing ANK , 
Daly R. SAMA, Darwin ANIC, Gove NMV 
Humpty Doo QDPI, Jahiru N1M, Koongan.. 
ANIC. Mr Cahill ANIC. NabaiJek Dam AM' 
Nourlangie ANIC, NMV, 120 T4 S \W IHT 
NTM. NSW - Bonv.Ue ANIC. Iluka AM. 
Kcmpscy ANIC . SAMA, I ismorc AM, M.u .. 
R. ANIC, Pt Muumuric AM, Rcpion AM, AC, I . 
- Black Mt ANIC. Other - Fiji BMNH. 
Finestcrre Mls (P.N.G.) BMNH, Java SAMA. 
90 km W Lae (P.N.G.) BMNH. Miiniku K. 
(P.N.G.) BMNH, Pt Moresby (P.N (..) BMNH. 
Pt Yiperrcs (P.N.G.) BMNH, Sulawesi BMNH 

Hydroplnlus tolfsi (Rccuribai 1 1 lariat Regimban. 19(L\ |i 1VC 
Hydrous gehieni Knisch. Iv22. p- I0K, syn mv, 

Description (number examined 9| 

Length JI-53 mm. As for If pitirarntii csccpi 
as follows. Geuerallv larger. Apc.v ft| elvi'-w, 
backcut towards suntral edge which Usually has a 

small but well-nuiiked spine. Sternal carina broad 
in front, narrowing behind, mesusterual poihon 
broadly and deeply silicate (Fig. A) whereas in H. 
piticomis Ihc carina is narrower and has a mutfl 
weaker groove (Fig. 5) Apical portion of sternal 
carina tending to bend upwards so as to remain 
cquidistanl from abdomen whereas in 11. piacortth 
rl is almost invariably straight or bent downwards 
away from the abdomen. The rips of the paramcrev 
are more swollen in this &pcdc 

f ypes 

Stt-tlurxus Inriai Rcgimbart Holoiype male 
labelled l l 1 on.iM.iso Civ Qenava* 1 " i!l1 htind- 
wriUen label Monai Reg' in MNHP. I herein desig 




FIGURES 6*16. Protarsus of male: 6, H. viridis\ 7, H, infrequens\ 8, H. albipes; 9, H. picicornis; 10, H. brevispina; 
11, H. austral IS] 12, H. toriae\ 13, H. pedipalpus; 14, //. novaeguinea; 15, ditto H. lalipalpus; 16, H. macronvz. 

nate it lectotype since it is unclear whether this is 
a holotype or a syntype. 

Hydrous gebieni Knisch. Not located (not in 
BMNH, MNHP, or Brussels). Synonymy based on 
examination of type and description of//, gebieni. 


New Guinea; L. Loria, Amboin (ANIC), Lae 
and Humboldt Bay District, Irian Jaya (in BMNH), 
Kaiserin Augusta River (type locality Of //. 
gebieni). The four specimens from Amboin, New 



Guinea, (Col. H Ohlmus 16/10/74) agree well with 
che lype except that ihey are noticeably broader. 


The differences between H. foriai and H. phi 
comitate slight and ar first J considered I he former 
only a subspecies of H. pkicornjs, However the 
three Ambom specimens were collected together 
with Typical H. pickorrus which virtually rules out 
subspecies. This and the lack of specimens with 
intermediate characters, paiticularly the broadly 
sulealc sternal carina* have persuaded me to treat 
H. loriui as a gootf species. 

Hydrophihts xusirjlis Montrotmer 

Hydrophilus oustralis Montrouzicr. I860, p. 248; 
FauveU 1 SS3, p. 351. Sfefhoxits ausfratis (Montrou- 
ziei). Fauvel, 1903, p. 351; Bedel, 1891, p. 317; 
Kuwerl, 1893, p. 87; Regimbart 1902, p. 207. 
Hvdrousaustralis (Montrouzicr), Knisch, 1924, p, 

Description (number examined 26) 

Length 32-36 mm. Oval, dark olive-green 10 
black. Appendages of head, a well marked spot at 
sides of each abdominal segment, the membraneous 
hind edge of abdominal segments 2-4 gtfid hind 
portion of emarginatc area on elypcus reddish- 
yellow. Head with clypcus deeply and widely emar- 
ginare, 40-60 large punctures on frons affia, densely 
covered with extremely small punctures with 
scattered larger ones. Pronotum punctured as on 
head, with u distinct groove around lateral edge, 
except lor hind angle, and along front margin to 
about Vi way to centre, some Urge punctures 
towards sides, lilytron punctured as on head with 
a minute reticulation, four longitudinal rows of 
rather sparse scattered large punctures, each row 
flanked on either side by a row of small punctures, 
towards apex these become more noticeable than 
main rows ol" punctures, towards front virtually 
untraceable. Apex of elytron rounded, with well- 
marked small spine. Sternal carina quite broad 
particularly towards front where it is deeply and 
widely grooved, weakly but sharply grooved 
towards rear, spine sharp, reaching to or fust 
beyond base of 2nd abdominal segment. Posternal 
pillar pointed, deeply grooved for receiving end of 
sternal carina. Lateral plate of mesostcrnum 
relatively long and narrow. Meialibia relatively 
narrow, equal to or ;i tittle less than width of second 
abdominal segment. Mctacoxal plate narrow, a 
linle narrower than mciatibia. Pilose portion of 1st 
abdominal segment reduced to narrow band along 
front margin, that on oilier abdominal segments 

about 14 width ol segments, boih virtually lacking 
in setae, Abdominal segments 2-5 with broad, 
rather ill-defined roofing, groove around edge ol 
apical abdominal segment lacking in apical ' >* , 

Female; protarsi not expanded [segment 
5<(2>3> -4<l) ui length). 

Male: protarsi as in Fig. II. Claws rhm, curved, 
subeciual [segment 5<(2>3=4<l) in length). 
Parameres llaU aedeagus relatively short, opening 
of spermatheeal duct beyond middle. 


A specimen of unknown sex, labelled 'Hydro- 
philus Australia Montr, N. Caledonie' in MNHP 
from Coll. L. Bedel, 1922 The specimen lack?, 
palps and protarsi. Since it is unclear whether this 
is a holotype or syntype 1 herein designate it as 

New Caledonia. 


Separated from the other large Hydrophilus ol 
rhe region by having the tips of the elytra distinctly 
spined and the spine of the sternal carina reaching 
at least to the second abdominal segment. 

Hydrophilus brevhpina Fairmaire 

Hytfrophilus brevispina Fairmaire, 1879. p. SO; 
Fauvel, 1883, p. 351. S/ethoxus hrevispinu iFair 
maire), Uedel, 1891, p. 317; Regimbart, 1902, p. 
208, Hvdtous brevissimus Kuwert, 1893, p. 87, 
either a mistake or unjustified emendation of 
Hydrous brevispina Fairmaire, 1879; Blackburn, 
1896, p. 225. Hydrous brevispina (Fairuiaire), 
Knisch, I924 v p. 247 Hyrhoplulus scissipulpis 
Blackbutn, 1901, p. 128, syn. nov. Hydrous 
sctssipa/pis (Blackburn), Kniscrv, 1924, p. 257. 

Description {number examined 219) 

Length 27-35 mm. tflongate oval. Dark olive 
green, appendages reddish, an orange-yellow patch 
in middle of each ventral abdominal segment a! 
sides. Head with clypeux deeply and widely elort 
gate, exposed portion yellowish, 60-80 large punc- 
tures in frons area, densely covered with much 
smaller punctures of two sizes, smallest very small 
bul well-marked. Pronotum punctured on head, 
with distinct groove around lateral edge and for 
about % way along front margin, some large punc 
ttircs inwards of this groove in from angles Flytron 
punctured as on head with four longitudinal rows 
of scattered punerures in weak depressions. Hanked 
on either side by a row of extremely small punclurc* 


< M.S. WIS 

ont> noticeable tu tome lights; apes of elyi a: 

bluntly rounded, not truncated. Sternal carina 
uaj row. Flat in front , weakly but sharply grooved 
ifl hind quarter, a short sharp ridge in midline at 
rcaj of mcsosicrnal ponton in some, sptnc short, 
Muril teaching to about I way ucros.s HWI 
abdominal .stcrniic. Prastwnal pillar thin, pointed, 
open with liirle or no hood over groove for sternal 
carina. Lateral plate of mesosternum relatively 
shot) and broad. MctuObia relatively broad, a lililc 
Iateer than width o\' 2nd abdominal segment 
pilose portion of 1st abdominal segment to about 
i width. RugOSC portions o\' other abdominal 
segments reduced to small patches in I rout angles 
m Sides about W width of segment. Abdominal seg- 
ments weakly rooled in midline- Groove around 
edgB-Ol apical abdominal segment complete or only 
broken for short distance at apex. Metacoxal lobe 
narrow, narrower ttian width of meLatibia. 

Female, protaisi not expanded [segmem 
5-(2>3>4 >f) in length], claws! with 
larec -.uhbasal tooth. 

Male: protarsi as in Fig. 10, Segment 5 expanded 
with membrane like flap on bottom front margin 
[segment '">>(l - 3 4) in length]. Claws elon- 
gate, outer larger and thinner than inner. Second 
joint of maxillary palpi expanded Slightly tri- 
angularly inwards near apex. Aedeagus ttwi, 
weakly expanded at rip. Parameter weakly hooked 
on outside 01 up. Opening Of speimathecal duel 
midway alonu aedeueus. 

7 i pes 

Nydrophilu.s lnvvi.\/>tnu \ amiiaue. Not located. 
Type locality. Brisbane 

Hydmphtlus wissipatpts Blackburn. Holotvpe. 
w7l control Mistralia*. BMNH Synonym based 
vn descMphoii and examination ol npc. 

Distribution (pig. I 7) 

Widespread throughout \u stialia except for the 
SOOlh-eCLSI ind Tasmania and possihly also the 


// hrevispina is often confused with H- albipcs 
but is tcadus separated from rhat species by its 
much more robust tnetafemora as well as chauuiefs 
given in the key- Both species are relatively 
common and are widely sytnpatrie. However //. 
hn\t>,pum DCCUT3 much further north than H. 
aftJtpffs, //. albipes is common in south eastern 
Australia, Tasmania and (he where H. 
hn ■■viapina is absent. 


}! bres'ispi/w is moUerate-si/cd. stoul, dark 
olive-green .species readily recognized bv the 

complete mi ore e On the apical abdominal segment, 
small amount of pilosiry on abdominal segments, 
siout metat'emur, narrow po.sternal pillar and 
rehnvcly large marginal groove along from edge 
of pronotum. 

Addumnal Localities 

VIC. — Ouyen ANIC. Wyperfeid ANIC, 73 km 
W N.S.W. — Armidale ANIC32 ktnSSW Uourke 
SAMA, Byroek ANIC, Deniliquin NMV, Dubbo 
NMV, Glen Innes AM, Grafton ANIC, Milparinka 
SAMA i Mitchell AM, Mootwinycc ANIC NMV. 
Moree AM, Ml Hope ANIC, Paroo R. BMNH. 
Parkcs AM. Singleton ANIC, lamworth ANIC 
Tibooburra ANIC, lourawecnah ANIC, Tranwie 
ANIC, Wanaarmg ANIC, WillamJra Bridge ANl'C 
Wvvcrn AM. QLD. — Alexandria Stn 
AM, 49 km SW Arrilaiah ANIC. Avr QDPI. 
Hedourtc ANIC, l3Skm NW Bedourie AM, 
liiggenden ANIC, Bowen SAMA, Burnett R. 
ANIC. Calliope R. ANIC, Camooweal ANIC 
Chillaeoe ANIC, Coopers Creek BMNH. 
Cuunamulla ANIC AM SAMA, Durham Downs 
ANIC, Fidsvold AM. Emerald ANlc , funnel Ck 
ANIC Glcnormiston ANIC, Goondiwindi ANIC 
48 km ESFi Ilungerford ANIC, 35 km SE 
lti'raeombe ANIC, Lake Dvuevor ANIC, Lawn 
Hill ANIC, Longreaeh ANIC Mackay AM, 
Mareeba QDPI, Mitchell SAMA, Ml Spec ANK, 
Noccundra ANIC Nockatunga ANIC, Normanton 
SAMA, Roekharnpion ANIC SAMA, 40 mile 
Scrub ANIC, Silver Plains ANlc , Somerset Dam 
ANIC Tanbar ANIC larooin ANIC, Thylung.ra 
ANIC 10 km h Tjabulka AM, Townsville ANIC 
BMNH QDPI. 90 m S Urandangic ANIC, 
Warwick AM, Wilson R. ANIC. Veppoon ANIC 
(BMNH). S.A. — Anna Ck Stn SAMA. 26 km 
NW Albcrga RS SAMA, Blinman SAMA, Cadelga 
OS- SAMA . Callabonna SAMA, Cameron Corner 
SAMA, Coward Spt . 40 km t t-rome Downs 
SAMA. Hay R. Simpson Deseri SAMA, Iron Duke 
SAMA, Kalarnurina Sin SAMA, Lake George 
ANIC, Mabel Ck Stn SAMA, 28 km SSW Mabel 
Ck Stn SAMA, Marrec SAMA. Mt Serle SAMA. 
Oodnadatta NMV SAMA, Strathearn HS SAMA, 
Stuart Ck Stn SAMA NT. — Alexandria BMNH. 
Alice Springs SAMA NTM, I km N Barrow Ck 
NTM, Burroloola ANIC, Glcnorniiston Stn 
SAMA, Hermannsburg BMNH, Kings Canyon 
NTM. McArthi.r R, ANIC, \$ km SW Mt Cah.ll 
ANIC, Simpson Gap NTM SAMA. 41 " S 133 
25 T. NTM, 24 r * OS'S 134 00'b! NTM, Yuendumu 
ANIC "W.A - Asl.burton R. WAM, Barradalc 
ANIC, Caaie River HS ANIC, Cape Berlholer 
ANIC Carnarvon rxmouih Rd BMNH, 
Ivununurra ANlc, Minilya R- ANIC, Prairie Down 
Stn SAMA, Wnranga ANIC, 



Hydrophilus albipes Castelnau 

Hydrophilus albipes Castelnau, 1840, p. 51. Steth- 
oxus albipes (Castelnau)* Bedel, 1891, p. 317; Reg- 
imbart, 1902, p. 207. Hydrophilus albipes Castel- 
nau, Blackburn, 1896, p. 255. Hydrous albipes 
(Castelnau), Kuwert, 1893, p. 87; Knisch, 1924, p. 

Description (number examined 487) 

Length 20-31 mm. Narrowly oval. Black, 
appendages reddish, diffuse reddish patches at sides 
of abdominal segments. Head with clypeus quite 
deeply and widely emarginate, exposed portion 
yellow only in hind half, 60-80 large punctures on 
frons, densely covered with small but well-marked 
punctures of two main sizes, the large less 
numerous than the smaller. Pronotum punctured 
as on head, with distinct groove around lateral sides 
and a short distance along front margin; some large 
punctures inward of this groove in front angles. 
Elytral punctures as on head, with four longitudinal 
rows of scattered punctures, flanked on either side 
by a row of extremely small punctures only visible 
anteriorly in certain lights but well-marked at apex. 
Apex of elytron rounded, with very small spine in 
extreme apex. Sternal carina thin, a little broader 
in area of mesosternum, flat except for weak sharp 
groove towards rear, spine short blunt reaching to 
about Vi width of first abdominal segment. Pros- 
ternal pillar broad, bluntly pointed, groove for 
sternal carina reaching only about Vi depth of 
pillar. Lateral plate of mesosternum relatively 
narrow. Metatibia relatively narrow, a little 
narrower than 2nd abdominal segment. Rugose 
portion of first abdominal segment covering all but 
narrow area along hind edge, hind angles and 
midline of segment, lateral portions on other 
abdominal segments about X A width of segment. 
Anterior abdominal segment quite strongly roofed 
in midline. Groove around edge of apical 
abdominal segment lacking in apical 14. Coxal lobe 
narrow, narrower than metatibia. 

Female: protarsi not expanded [segment 5< 
<2>3>4>l) in length], claws with a large basal 

Male: protarsi as in Fig. 8 [segment 5 expanded, 
particularly on bottom front margin [segment 
5<(2 = 3>4>l)in length]. Claws stout, inner a bit 
stouter and a little shorter than outer. Palpi normal. 
Aedeagus and paramere long and thin. Opening of 
spetmathccal duct l A way along aedeagus. 


Hydrophilus albipes Castelnau. Not located. Type 
locality given as New Holland. 

Distribution (Fig. 17) 
A widespread southern species. 


H. albipes is a small, narrow, black species sep- 
arated from other Hydrophilus by its small size, 
short sternal carina, incomplete groove around edge 
of apical abdominal segment, slim metafemur, and 
with row of setae on outer face of protibia only 
about Vi length of tibia. 

,4 dd it tonal Localities 

N.S.W. — Balranald ANIC, Bathurst AM, Bin- 
naway AM, Broken Hill SAMA, Canberra ANIC, 
Corowa ANIC, Deniliquin ANIC, Girilambone 
ANIC, Gundaroo ANIC, Hay ANIC, Louth AM, 
Marrabui BMNH, 24 km ENE Broken Hill AM, 
5 m S Mendooran AM, Mitchell AM, Moree MM, 
Mt Moodie ANIC, Mudgee ANIC, Rylstone 
SAMA, Silverton ANIC, Singleton ANIC, Trangie 
ANIC, Uralla ANIC, Wagga Wagga ANIC, Will- 
andra Bend ANIC, Yagobie ANIC, Yanco AM. 
VIC. — Benambra AM, Bendigo ANIC, Bundoo 
Rng. AM, Euroa NMV, Gelibrand NMV, Gram- 
pians ANIC AM, Halls Gap SAMA, Hattah lakes 
ANIC SAMA, Kerang AM, Kulkyne Forest ANIC, 
Lady Julia Percy 1. AM, Little Desert ANIC, 
Melbourne BMNH, Frankston AM, Melbourne 
ANIC, Otways SAMA, Sealake ANIC, Terang 
ANIC, Warragul ANIC, Warranabool NMV, 
Wyperfield Nat. Pk ANIC, Yanac ANIC. S.A. - 
Adelaide BMNH SAMA, Beachport SAMA, 23 m 
NE Billa Kalina HS SAMA, Bool Lagoon SAMA, 
Coward Sp. SAMA, Etadunna WAM, Fairview Park 
Con. Res. SAMA, 40 km E Frome Downs SAMA. 
Frome R. Crossing SAMA, Kangaroo I. AM, 
Koonamore Stn SAMA, Lake Callabonna AM 
SAMA, Lake Eyre SAMA, Monarto SAMA, 
Mungerannie Stn SAMA, Mylor SAMA, Nang- 
warry SAMA, Naracoorte SAMA, Parachilna 
SAMA, Penola SAMA, Taratap Stn SAMA, 
Waitpinga SAMA, Whyalla NMV, Yunta SAMA. 
TAS. — Carlton ANIC, Hobarl SAMA, Latin- 
ceston NMV SAMA, Longford ANIC. W.A. - 
Albany WAM, Armadale WAM, Boxwood Hill 
ANIC, Bullsbrook WAM, Cape Arid ANIC, Cer- 
vantes ANIC, Claremont ANIC, Culcurdool WAM, 
Darling Rng. AM, Esperance ANIC, 63 km E 
Esperance ANIC, Forrestdale WAM, Geraldton 
ANIC, Guilderton ANIC, Helena R. WAM, Hope- 
town ANIC, Kalbarri Nat. Pk ANIC, Mt Arid 
ANIC, Point Peron WAM, Preston R. ANIC, 
Thomas R. ANIC, 10 m SW Three Springs SAMA, 
Wanneroo WAM, Wilga ANIC. 



• H. infrequens 

* H. viridus 

o H. macronyx 

H. brevispinna 

H. picicornis 


H. latipalpus 


H. pedipalpus 


H albipes 

FIGURE 17. Distribution maps of Australian Hydrophilus species. 



Hrdrophilus inireqoens sp. nov. 

Description (number examined 3) 

I ength 24-25 mm. Oval. Upper surface, when 
dry, varying from dark with olive-green tinges to 
dark with reddish tinges, elytra with vague dark 
strips in serial puncture Hues, at higher magnifi- 
cation elytra covered with thin black interdigiiating 
lines more noticeable in greenish individuals. 
Ventral surface black, appendages of head and 
lateral patches on abdominal segments reddish. 
Head shallowly emaigtnme lor about hail width of 
Irons, basal half of exposed portion yellowish, front 
portion black. About 60 large punctures lying in 
two V-shaped weak grooves on frons, which is 
densely coveted whb small but well-marked 
punctures predominantly of two si?es wilh the 
smaller more numerous A well-separated pair of 
pits bearing long setae in middle of frons. Pronotum 
punctured as on head, wirh a distinct groove along 
lateral edges and along front edge for a very short 
distance, a few groups o\' 2 large punctures towards 
sides. Elytron with lightly impressed tine 
reticulation and scattered very small punctures o( 
variable sizes, also four loose rows of large 
punctures Hanked on each side by a row of 
punctures which are subobsolete towards front but 
as large as serial punctures at apex. Band of closely 
placed but scattered punctures along lateral edge 
of elytron. Apex of elytron rounded. Sternal carina, 
Hal, broad, particularly mesosiernal portion, 
constricted between mesocoxae and narrowing at 
both front and rear end, spine blunt reaching a little 
over !'2 width of first abdominal segment. 
Prosier na] pillar pointed, groove to receive sternal 
catiua narrow about '.-: width of pillar in depth. 
Lateral plate of mesosternum narrow, relatively 
totlg, meUcoxal plate narrow, both narrower than 
width or metafemur which is about same width as 
second abdominal segment. Pilose area on 
underside covets ail abdominal segments except for 
approximately the central half of segments 2-5. 

Female; protarsi not expanded, protarsal claw 
with small spine on underside about middle (seg- 
ment 5<=(2>3>4-1) in length]. 

Malr protarsi as in Fig. 7. Segments a Ihtlc 
thicker than in female and slightly expanded an 
(rout bottom edge Claws simple, evenly curved 
along outer edge. Segment 5-(2>3-4 1 1 in tength. 
Parameres snort, broad. Acdeagus with sperm- 
athecal duct opening near tip. 


Holotvpe cr*28'52 , S 153 03 £ Casino, N.S.W, 
UXUi$?1, Key and Balderson*, *a( light'in ANK 
Paratypes: I, cr 'Brisbane 1/30* 4 J.G. Brooks Be- 
quest 1976*; I, Cf, 'I mJ N of Brunswick Heads 
N.S.W. 1 Jan 1073 R-l Kohout\ in ANIC. 

Distribution (Fig. J7| 

Known only from the type localities on the east 
coast near the New South Wales/Queensland 


This ajid //. virichts are closely related and sep- 
arated from other Australasian Hydraptuius. by the 
extensive lateral pilosity on the abdominal segments 
and the presence of a pair of setae beating pits or 
a tight group of large punctures on the front of the 
frons. H infrnfuem is separated from//, viridis by 
its generally larger, darker and more rounded shape, 
.stronger punctation on upper surfaces, slight differ- 
ence in pUose area on underside, broader tip to the 
parameres, spcrmaiheeal duct opening at end of 
adeagus rather than further down, and slightly more 
robust male protaisi. 

Hydrtiphilus vtridis sp. rmv. 

Description (number examined 4) 

Length 18-2) mm. elongate oval, Olive-green, 
extreme edges of elytron, pronotum and scutdlum 
black, two small black spots at rear of pronotum. 
Underside black, legs reddish, appendages on head 
yellow-brown. Head deeply but rather narrowly 
emarginated, basal half of exposed portion yellow- 
brown, front portion black, 70-90 large punctures 
lying in two V-shaped weak grooves on frons, a well- 
separated pair of small pits in middle of Irons with 
large setae emerging from them, densely covered 
with small but well-marked punctures of varying 
sjzes. Pronotum punctured as on head, with distinct 
groove around lateral edge and along front edge for 
a short distance, a few groups of large punctures 
towards sides. Elytron with fine reticulation and 
scattered minute punctures, also four loose rows ol 
large punctures Hanked on each side by a row of 
very small punctures more distinct towards apex. 
Apex of elytron rounded. Sternal carina wide, con- 
stricted between mesocosae and narrowing at both 
front and rear, spine blunt, reaching to beginning 
ol second abdominal segment. Pnosternal pillar 
pointed, narrowly but not deeply grooved for re- 
ception of sternal carina I .ateral plate of meso- 
sternum narrow, relatively long, metacoxai plate 
narrow, both narrower than metafemur which is 
about width ol 2nd abdominal segment. Pilose area 
of underside covers all abdominal segments esfeepl 
for central l A of segments 2-5. 

Mate protarsi as in Fig. 6. Segments not 
•expanded, claws simple, sharply bent near base 
[segment 5> (2>3 = 4-ll in length]. Parameres 
shon, broad. Aecleagus with spermathecal duct 
opening around middle. 


< R.S. \VAl IV 

Distribution thuj 1 7) 

Known only from the type localities iu coastal 
northern Queensland. 

Holotype; Or 'Mm. S. Coen N,Q 7M(T I&.5.72. 
J.G. Brooks' 'At light* <B 73 of «2* in ANIC 
Paratypcs; 1, a 'Ingham Q\ d 24.2.1960 K I Hurlcv 4 
in ANIC; I, 0» Townsville Q|d. 19.4.03 CW', in 
CW; 1, 9 -Athcrton 14.XII.58, G, nucrsbank'in 


A rare species with a pronounced olive-green 
colour when dry. Separated from the closely related 
H. mjrequens by characters given under that species. 

Hydrophilus mtvaeuninvae sp. HOV, 

Description (number examined M 

Length 32-43 mm. Elongate oval. Black, appen 
da^ies ol head and small round patches at sides ol 
abdominal segments dark-reddish. Head with 
clypeus deeply emarymatc for about hull width of 
etypeus, exposed portion dark reddish in Iront hall, 
f\0-XO large punctures on Irons in addition to a 
dense patch inwards from each eye, moderately 
densely covered by small hut variably- si zed 
punctures. Pronotum punctured AS on head, wilh 
a distinct groove around lateral edge and a short 
distance along front edge, scattered large punctures 
towards sides. Elytron punctured as on head with 
foil longitudinal rows of scattered well-Impressed 
setae-bearing punctures each flanked by a row of 
very small punctures, virtually untraceable towards 
from, and a single line of close punctures adjacent 
to lateral edge. Apex of elytron rounded without 
spine. Sterna! carina slightly swollen, sharply but 
weakly grooved in final .section, widely bul very 
.shallowly grooved in front section, hind portion o\ 
front section with distinct midline carina, hind end 
of front sCclion slightly above from em\ ol rear 
section; spine blunt and short, reaching a little more 
than halfway across first abdominal segment. 
Prosiernal pillar sharply pointed onlv shalluwly 
grooved to take sternal carina. Lateral plate of 
mesosternum short, relatively broad, Meuuibia 
stout, noticeably wider than 2nd abdominal seg- 
ment, metacoxal plate narrower than metafemur. 
Pilose portion of 1st abdominal segment covering 
about '/j of width of segment, that on sides of other 
segments about ',■.- of width of segments. Abdo- 
minal segments I 4 weakly rooted in midline, 
■i.roove around edge of apical abdominal segment 
absent In apical portion. 

female: protarsi, segment 5> >(2-3 = 4>l) in 
lengih, claw with stronely developed spine under- 
neath in about middle- Front section of sternal 
carina Hat. Groove on prosrcrnal pillar deeper than 
in male. Labial palpi stout. 

Male: protarsi as in fig. 14, segments 1-4 same 
length, short, progressively more expanded, segment 
5 twice length of other segments comhincd and with 
thin projection .ilong front edge about half width 
Ol' rest of segment [segment 5>>(l-2 -3 -4) in 
length]. Claws considerably enlarged, outer about 
Vi again length of inner Maxillary palpi with ape.x 
of second segment weakly expanded and flat, labial 
palpi expanded, much Mouter than in female. Geni- 
talia broad, tip of paramcre curved, terminating in 
small sharp spines, aedcagus relatively thick and 
short, spermathecal duct opening a lilltc below tip. 

I lolorypc c 'Papua 9 ml. NE.. by N. of Port 
Moresby. 9'22S 147 LVb. 23 viii. fflQ, Key and 
Balderson. {Key's field notes; Trip 167. stop 
21050.8). At light*, in ANIC Paratypcs: 2, y 'New 
Guinea, Port Moresbv (Mi. Lawcs, 1300 F| ), 
5.3-12.5.1963. WW. Brandt.* in ANIC. 


New Guinea; known only from the type localities 
and Amboin (in ANIC and CW). 


The large size, relatively short, broad male geni 
laha with hooked tips to paramcres, n.hua mcta- 
femur, and small amount of pilosity on fust abdo- 
minal segment, ally H. novarpuineue to //. mae 
ronyx. It ts separated from thai species by the much 
less elaborate male protarsi, thickened labial palpi 
and ihc spine on the underside of the protarsal claws 
in the female being towards the middle of the claw 
lather than at the base. 

Hydawhiltis pedipntftus tBcdel 1891) comb. nov. 

Stvl/io.xtij peciipa/pus Bedel, 1&9I, p. 317; Kuwen. 
1893, p, 87; Regimbarl, 1902, p. 210. Hvtirompeiii 
palpus (Bedel), Kniseh, 1924, p. 250. 

Description (numbci examined 72) 

Length 35-46 mm. Llongateoval. lMack, appen- 
dages oi head, and rOUUd patches al sides of 
abdominal segments daik-reddish Mead wirh 
clypeus deeply ennirgmate bul fot a relatively short 
distance (deepest point '/: width o\ clypeus*). Ex 
posed portion dark reddish in hind half, 60-K0 large 
punctures on Irons,, densely covered with very small 
bul variably sued punctures. Pronotum punctured 
as on head, with a distinct groove around lateral 

V sikai \sian HYDRDPJSitltS 


edge, except hind ' Uh, vinuaJly absent from front 
maigin,. with scattered targe punctures coward, 
sides. Flytton punctured as on head with lour 
longitudinal tows of scattered weakly-impressed 
large puuetUTes, these are Hanked on each side by 
a tow of very small punctures, distinct Towards 
extreme apex but over much of elytron vinually 
lacking and only visible in certain lights, not lying 
In grooves except extremely weak ones at extreme 
apes. Apcxof elylruu weakly truncated with small 
blunt spine. Sternal carina swollen, constricted 
between mesoeoxae, weakly grooved in hind 
portion, broadly and quite deeply grooved in front 
portion. Spine short, blunt, reaching to about 
halfway across 1st abdominal segment. Poslernal 
pillar sharply pointed, groove for reception Of 
i|CI tuil carina relatively shallow, reaching less than 
halfway into pillar on top edge, lateral plate of 
uvesosternum short, rctati\ely broad. Mctalcmur 
quite broad, a little wider than 2nd abdominal 
segment. Metoeoxal plate uarrow v narrower than 
melalemur. Pilose portion nt 1st abdominal 
segment covering well over '.2 width thai segment, 
that on sides of other abdominal segments about 
' width ct\ segment. Abdominal segments ]-4 
roofed in midline. Groove around edge of apical 
abdominal segrnenl lacking in apical 'a-W. 

h'etnaie: ptotarsi noi expanded (segment 5< < 
(2>3>4>l) in length]. Front portion of Menial 
groove flat, groove, on prosicmal pillar deeper than 
in male 

MMe prtnarst as m Fig. 13.> 5 and 4 
and portion ol 3 enlarged, pat Ocularly on outer 
bottom edge (segment *< c(3 3-4>l in length), 
.laws elongale, sttougly curved at base. subequal 
in length, inner stouter than outer Maxillary palpi 
with first segment expanded particularly in apical 
1 i where u is deeply excavated below, apical seg- 
ment %hmi and stout. Lahiat palpi with first seg- 
ment expanded Genitalia with paramere tips broad 
and Hat, aedcagus relatively thick, spermathccal 
duct opening below middle. 


A male labelled 'Ausiralia E. Deipolle IVdipalpus 
Bed 1 , in MNHP. Since it is unclear whether this is 
a holoiype or syrilvpe, I hereby designate u leeto- 

Distribution (Fig. 2M 

Coastal casfcrn Ausiralia from Victoria 
northward.-.. A more northern species than the quire 
similar//. tuttpuipus. These species occur sympat- 
ncally on the south coast oi New South Wales. /V. 
pMJipulpUS differs from //, kttipaipus by the weaker 
development of elytral striae, by the flat anterior 
portion of the sternal keel in both sexes and the 
strongly expanded maxillary and labial palps in thc 

Additional Lucultiies 

QLp, — Atherton. Biggenden ANIC, Biisbanc 
AM, Edungalba ANIC. Julatten AM. Proserpine 
ANIC WAM, Rockhamplon BMNH, Surfers Para- 
dise ANIC QDPI, Yeppoou ANIC. N.SW. — Ala- 
lOUVlUc AM, Armitlale ANJC, Casino ANIC, Ces- 
nock AM. Clarence R. BMNH. Evans Head ANIC, 
Fairfield BMNH, Kempsey SAMA. Macleay R. 
ANIC, Maitland ANIC ft Mactpnrfc AM, Rose 
ville AM, Tamarong AM, Terrigal ANIC, Tyndock 
AM, Wang Wauk AM, Wauchope AM 

H\dn>i)hilu« latipalpus Caslelnau 

Hydrophiius lutipalpus Caslelnau, 1840, n. 51. 
Sti'ihoxus iaiipotpus (Caslelnau), Bedel, 1891. p. 
311; Regimban, PJ02, p. 209, Hydmus tuliputpu.s 
(Caslelnau), Kuwert, 1893, p. 87; Kmsch, 1924. p. 

fJc\cnpfton (itutnbet examined 121) 

Length 3d 41 mm. Oval. Black, patches at sides 
of abdominal segments ami appendages o( head 
lighter Head with elypcus deeply ematgiiutte, 1(H) 
120 large punctures m frons area, densely covered 
with small punctures of two sizes, t lie smaller sizes 
predominating. Pionotum punctured as on head, 
with a distinct gioovc around lateial edge except 
hind W, and for a short distance along front 
margin, with numerous large punoures flWWWfe Ol 
groove in It *nr~it angles, tlytrou puueeutcil as on head 
with foui longiludiual lows of scattered large punc- 
tures, these are Hanked on each side hi well marked 
rows oi' scattered small punctures which, except on 
disc, and particularly towards ttpet, lie in shallow 
grooves. Apex of elytron bluntly rounded Sternal 
carina thin, flat except for well-marked groove in 
midline toward rear, spine short, sharply pointed. 
reaching to about base of 2nd abdominal segment 
Prostctnal pillar sharply pointed, groove lor stem. il 
carina deep. Lateral plate ol mcsostei num short, 
relatively broad. Mclatibia quite broad, about as 
wide a$ 2nd abdominal segment. Mctutoxal plate 
nOTftiW, narrower than metatibia. Pilose portion o'C 
M abdominal segment covering a hit more than 
hall ol segment, that on sides of oilier abdominal 
segments iva-.hing a little under half way across 
segment. Abdominal segments I -4 quite sirouglv 
ndgcd in midline. Groove afonuU edge of apical 
ahdominat segment lacking from apical ' i. 

f'e/nctk': pro tarsi not expanded [segrnenl ?■* 
}?>5> -4>l)ih length), claws elongate each with 
a basal tooth. I ronl edge ol sternal uorinil 
po'iceiuit' downwards to a variable degree 

\tiiti: prot-ui-i iisin tig. !5 ( modcratcK c-xpuu 
ded, claws Mibequal, bent, fliocnud with small ex- 
panded lobe at baselscguicnl $< <(2>^-4 - 1 ) in 
lengtli). Maxillary palpi xvilh apical hall ol scm-i.-I 



segment greatly expanded, hollow beneath, apical 
segment a little expanded below apex. 

Not located. Type locality given as New-Holland. 

Distribution (Fig. 17) 

South-eastern and south-western Australia and 


The commonest of the large Hydrophilus in 
Australia, readily separated from H, pedipalfnts 
(and H. australis from New Caledonia) by the 
downward lump at the front of the sternal carina 
in the female, and the moderately expanded male 
maxillary palpi and by the stronger development 
of the elytra! striae, 

Additional Localities 

N.S.W. — Araluen ANIC, I eeton AM, Paroo R. 
BMNH, Nowra BMNH, Strathlicld AM, Svdnev 
AM. VIC. — ANIC, DimboolaSAMA, Grampians 
SAM A, Hattah Lakes ANIC, Hazelwood ANIC, 
Latrobe Valley NMV, Little Desert ANIC. Mel- 

bourne BMNH, Morwell NMV, Ouvay Ra SAMA, 
Ouycn ANIC, Strathfield NMV, Siawdl NMV,' 
Swan Hill ANIC, Wyperfield Nat. Pk ANIC S.A. 
— Adelaide SAMA, Bool Lagoon SAMA, Cape 
Jaffa SAMA, Coorong SAMA, Furner SAMA, 
Glencoe SAMA, Ktngscoie (K.I.) AM, Kingston 
SAMA, Ml Scott SAMA, Naracoorte AM, Ptnola 
SAMA, Taratap Stn SAMA. W.A. — Midland 
WAM, Morgers Lake WAM, Ml Arid ANIC, Perth 
WAM, Swan R. SAMA, Wilga ANIC. TAS. — 
Freycinet Nat. Pk ANIC. Launceston SAMA, 
Longford ANIC, Swansea ANIC. Tasmania 


The curator of the collections listed earlier are (hanked 
for free and rapid access to their collections. Dr L. 
Matthews kindly read and improved the manuscript, Mrs 
D. Brunkcr typed successive versions nRhe paper and Miss 
L Thurmcr expertly drew the illustrations. Mrs M 
Anthony, Libiarian of the South Australian Museum, 
helped by rapidly obtaining references without which 
progress would have been much slower. Mr R. Kuehle 
kindly translated (he German description of //. nebiem. 

Rlf I RfcNCES 

BALroUR-HROW'NL, R 1941. The aquatic Coleoptera 
of East and West Sussex. Entomol. Mon /V/wg. 77: 

BEDBL, L. 1891. Synopsis des Grands Hydrophiles 
(genere Stethoxus Solier). tfeu Entomol 10: 306-323. 

BLACKBURN, T 1896. Coleopiera (exelu.Mve of the 
Cm.hidac), pp. 254- 308. //; B. Spencer (lid.) l Report 
on the Work of the Horn Scientific Expedition to 
Central Australia', Part 2 — Zoology. Melville, Mullen 
& Slade, Melbourne. 

BLACKBURN, I. 1901. Further notes on Australian 
Coleoptera with descriptions of new genera and species, 
part XXIX. nans. R. Soc S. Aust. 25: 99 131 

CASTS) NAU. LL. LAPORTfc da 1840. 'Histoire 
Naturelle des insects, avec une introduction renfermant 
r anatomic et la physiologic des animau.x artieules par 
M. Brulle*. Dumcnil, Pftffa, Vol. 2. 563 pp. 

CHEVROLAT, M. 186-}. Coleoplcres de file de C..h a , 
Ami. Soc. Entomol (4) 3: 183-210. 

FAiRMAIRE, L. 1879. Descriptions de Coleuplcrcs nou- 
veaux ou peu eonnu* dU Musec GodetYroy. J. Afu\. 
Godefjroy \\\: 80-114. 

KNISCH. A- 1922a. Hvdrophilidcn-Sludien (Op.10). 
Arch, NafurzesTh. 88; 87 126. 

ECNISCH, A. 1922b. Result, ot Dr E. Mjoberg's Swedish 
Scientific Expeditions to Australia 1910-1911, Vol. 29, 
Hydrophilidae. Ark. /.oot. 14: 1-4- 

KNISCK, A. (924. Hydrophilidae. Pp. 1-306 in S. 

Sehenkling (Ed.) Coleopieroruni Catalogue Vol. \iv 

Drophilidae-Dermc.stidae. W. iunk ? Berlin. 
KUWLRT. A. |fl93. Die erossen Hydrophiliden des Eul- 

balls des genus Nvdrow; Uach. Dtsvh. Em. Zeit. 1893: 

McKEOWN. K.C 1948. A reference list ol" types of 

Coleoptera in the Australian Museum. Rcc. Au\t. KQib 

22: 55-134 
MACLLAY. W.S. 1825. 'Number 1 ol' Amuilosa Javanica, 

or an attempt lo illustrate the natural affinities and 

analogies ol the insects collected in Java by Thomas 

MorsTield, M.D.F.L. & OS. and deposited by hitn in the 

Museum ol the Honourable East India Company' 

Kingsbury, Pjrhury and Allen, London. Pp. M0. I 

MACLF.AY, W.J., IS7], Noies on a collection of insects 

from Gayndnh. Trwy Entomol. Soc .N.SM', || : 

MONTROUZ1LR, p i860. fcs&j sur la Faune Luto- 

rnoloeique de la Noiivelte-Calcdonic (Halade) ei des lie) 

des Pins, Art, liliic, etc. Arm. Soc Entomol. trance 

fl) & 229-30H. 
RLGiMHART. M. 1902. Revision des grands Hydrophiles. 

Am. Soc Entomol /•> 70: 1 88 232. Pis 7 and & 
POPC, R.O 1985, fivdrophtfw,, Uvdmns and Hydro 
rhutv (Coleoptera: Hvdrophilidae). Entomol. Man. 

Mav. 121: 181-184. 


byF. L. Gommers 


Small gem quality diamond crystals have been found by miners working the alluvial gold deposits 
on the Old Echunga Diggings west of Chapmans Gully near Echunga, 30 km south-east of 
Adelaide. The first diamonds were recovered in 1859, and in the next fifty years at least 20 and 
perhaps as many as 50 more were found. The largest stone weighed 5 5/16 ct. Only five of the 
diamonds found at Echunga last century can be traced; three are in the collection of the South 
Australian Museum, and two in the collection of the South Australian Department of Mines and 
Energy. This paper traces the history of the diamond occurrence and establishes the authenticity of 
stones in the Museum collection. 



CiOMMFRS, f.L. 1988; Diamond* from the Echunga ColJiicId, South Australia. Rev. S. AU$L 
1$ts. 22(2): 131 138. 

Small gem quality diamond crystal have been found by miners working the alluvial gold deposit? 
on the Old Echunga Diggings west of Chapmans Gully neat Eetyunga, W km south-east of 
Adelaide. The filjt diamond were recovered in 1859, and in the next fifty years at least ZD and 
perhaps as many as 50 more were found. The largest stone weighed 5 5/ 16 a. Only five of the 
diamonds found at Echunga last century can be traced; three are in the collection or the South 
Australian Museum, and two in the collection oi the South Australian Department of Mines 
and Energy. This paper traces the history of the diamond occurrence and establishes the auth- 
enticity ol stones in (he Museum collection. 

KL. Gornrners, South Australian Museum, North lerraee. Adelaide, South Australia 5000. 
Manuscript received 9 November 1987. 

The South Australian Museum collection con- 
tains three diamonds which are purported to have 
conic from the Hchunga Goldfield, 30 km south- 
east oT Adelaide (Fig. 1). These specimens are 
amongst the most frequently examined and studied 
specimens In the Museum's mineral collection, 
However, there has loug been uncertainty and 
scepticism over authenticity of the locality data for 
these stones. The diamonds were reputed lo occur 
with alluvial gold, bul no kimberlitic source or 
indicator minerals were found by early investigators. 

Geological units in the Goldfteld comprise Holo- 
cene and Tertiary sediments, predominantly ferru- 
ginous alluvial gravel and sand, unconformally 
overlying kaolinised slale and schist of Torrcnsian 
age. the alluvial gold is thought to have been de- 
rived from quarts reefs in the older rocks (Ludbrook 


The discovery irfibW in Victoria in 1851 and the 
ensuing rush to the Iteids from all parts of Australia 
prompted ihe government in South Australia to 
offer a reward Of £1 000 for the discovery of payable 
gold in die colony. 

\V, Chapman Snr, R. Hardiman and Hi Hampton 
were first to claim the reward for the discovery of 
gold, near hchunga in the Mount Lofty Ranges, 
they were eventually paid £500 by the Government. 
In 1852 Chapman's son William, who had recently 
returned from the Victorian goldficlds, found allu 
vial gold near Warland's Wheatshcaf Inn, now 
known as *Warrakitla\ on the Onkaparinga River. 
William Chapman and his father traced the gold 
back lo its source in a gully, later to become known 

as Chapman's Gully (Whimpress 1975). The initial 
rush here lasted only a few months but, at its height, 
600 people were living on the diggings and about 
5 000 oz. of gold were found, from 1853 to 1868, 
further discoveries were made in an area west of 
Chapman's Gully, notably at Long Gully, Christmas 
Rush and Poor Man's Hill, and further afield at 
Donkey Gully and Hahndorf Gully. 

In 1868, Thomas Plane and Henry Saunders 
found a rich field at Jupiier Creek, 3 km south of 
Chapman's Gully; they received £300 and £200, 
respectively, from the South Australian Government 
in reward for their discovery. Jupiier Creek was 
worked in several phases between 1868 and 1907. 
Up to 1 500 diggers were working the field at the 
height of the rush between 1868 and 1871. 

Ihe Echunga Goldfield now covered three areas, 
the Old Echunga diggings (including Chapmans 
Gully), Jupiier Creek, and the Hahndorf to Mylot 
area which included Donkey Gully and Biggs Flat 
(Fig. I). By 1900, about 400 000 oz, of gold had 
been recovered and the area had become the stated 
most productive field. Drew (1984) gives a mou 
complete outline of ihe geology and history of thc 

Miners working the Echunga alluvials oecas 
ionally found small gem quality diamonds in their 
pans and cradles. Over the fifty-year period in which 
the goldfield was active, approximately 50 diamonds 
were reported to have been recovered (Brown 1908). 
These appear to have come mainly From the oldci 
part of Ihe Echunga diggings west oT Chapmans 
Gully, the principal localities being long Gully'. 
Inicmaiional Dam', "Poor Man's Hill', 'Christmas 
Rush 'and 'New Rush Hill'. 

Doubts have been expressed about the occurrence 
and even the authenticity of these stoncv 



FIGURE 1. Map showing main areas of the Echunga goldfielcis. Diamonds were found on the Old Echunga Diggings 
west of Chapmans Gully. 



SUggesaaiTC were made dial diggers returning from 
i he South African fieWa bad been 'salUng'the area 
wilh diamonds, or that the stones were Brazilian 
or Indian (DulTiekJ 1909). It is highly unlikely that 
the stones are South African, however, as the 
kimherley Held wnsnoi discovered until I860, seven 
yeais ullci the first diamonds were reeoveted at 

MiMinn 01 n«i: Diamond Kimjs 

First discoveries 

Uncertainly e.\iso, as lo when and by whom the 
lust diamond was found. The Adelaide Observer. 
a newspaper nf the day, reported that Robert fore- 
show found a diamond near Ichunga in March 1859 
(Hu 2). The yellow coloured stone was said 1o be 
about the si/e of a small pea, and was found at a 
ficpth Ot 2 m next to a small gold nugget. This 
seems to be the earliest recorded find. 

Tom Hall and his brolhei Robert also claimed 
m have found the first diamond, at New Rush Hill. 
This stone was sold to Mr F.R. Simpson of the 
South Australian Company (Hales 1909). No date 
loi this find was given, however. 

Diamonds— On Monday afternoon, an 
Miun differ named Robert Fottsb&w exhibit"* I" 
AtaUtde * small dkuwpd which Ik toaud ^ a depth ol 
six ftiei«oLasB to 3 nagget oi ftold welaHtoff a pwui wetgM 
and a hair". There It no douM of lha gtnuliwnes* ul tb ' 
diunond, which Is about tb* _ 
ih»p« U good, but la oolour It Is raitot jtllovu. lie 
mttutiututtl chat te had found two, hut we oo»> s\uj uoq 
of thvin. Wo would recommend the iU*jr*« to look uxor* 
closely for diamond.*, as we Delieve that Kchungft U 
cucoil vfclj a diamond formation. 

IK il IRI-: 2. Report of ffpfl iluimond find ;ii Hchimya I'torn 
The Observer, 26 March I.XVJ 

The Adelaide Observer o\ 2\ tanuary I860 

A dtggcr named VVUIumU Hull who had been at work 
;n thi new UiitL'inus ai Belvunga, luw brought clown 
llin.v -up posed dfcunufldb, which he recently discovered 

ihere while AearL'hSnj for gold. Oia is ol large 

tlniiLHsu.iis and weighs .thorn an ounce; and Hie other 
two jne iihoui the Bi/e of peas. (Adelaide Observer, 
21 Jan. I860) 

If seems highly unlikely that the one ounce stone 
was a diamond, as diamonds o\' this si/e (over 140 
Cl) arc extremely rare and valuable. Had a NO tf 
diamond been recovered then more csteusive 
reporting of such a find would have been expected; 
the stone was more probably clear quad/- 

By Dceemhcr a\~ IS60, Mi Simpson had pur- 
chased 11 diamonds from miners at Echunsa, two 

or three of these wore said to be very pure in colour 
and the si/e of large peas {Adelaide Observer, 1? 
December I860). In 1864, Mr Simpson offered two 
diamonds to the South Australian Institute lor 112, 
which he said were \ . . if not the firsi found, which 
1 believe, they ate by far the most perfect of any 
yet discovered'. These may haw been purchased b> 
the South Australian Government and could be the 
stones mentioned in Brown (1908) as having been 
purchased by the Museum authorities. These UK 
uol, however, the two uncut slones currently held 
in the Museum collection. 

Largest stone 

The largest authenticated diamond found omlie 
field appears to be the 5 5/I6 (5 ]/T!) ei stone 
discovered by a digger. John Glover, in August IH77 
at Long Gully (Warden of Cioldfields, 10 August 
1877), Hales (1909) gives the weight as aboul 14 
grams (4.5 ct) and places the find at Poor ManS 
Hill, bul this account was compiled from remini- 
scences in 1909 and the weight conflicts with 
catalogue entries. Brown (1908) reports a 9 \M ct 
stone but no other mention of 1 his gem was made 
in early records; the weight is probably a misprint 
of carats for grains, wilh the true weight being about 
3 et. 

L Ronnell.s Vision' diamond, found at Poor Man^s 
Hill, was valued at £90 in ihc rough. Reunells, a 
prospector, Vnown as the miner's prophet '. . 
dreamt that he saw an angel pointing tQ the spot 
at the foot o\ Poor Man's Hill and heard a voice 
[elling him to dig' (The Advertiser, 16 June 1909). 
Mis male, nut believing him, threatened to throw 
Rennells into the dam if he did nol continue with 
rheir usual gold prospecting. A struggle look place 
nenr the edge of the water, but the ground gave way 
a\\l\ his mate fell in, putting an end 10 his objections. 
Rennells continued seatching and soon found his 
diamond. Unfortunately, the weight of this stone 
was not recorded 

A diamond weighing 3 1/2 et was found in Long 
Gully by John Brown while gold washing in 
December IK67 (Warden ol Goldlields, 8 December 

The Dudd and Beau Report* 

In the late 1870s, ihc diamond occurrence 91 
Lchunjaa was of considerable interest, wait 
newspapers urging miners to be on Ihc lookout lor 
these gems and giving regular accounts of new 
finds. In 1878 and 1879, die Government com- 
missioned two reports' on die diamond oc- 


1.1 C.OMMfcRS 

At the Paris Universal International Exhibition 
in 1878. two rough diamond* found b> gold diggers 
John Brown and John Glover were exhibited in (he 
South Australian Court (fig. 3). Mr Boothby, 
Special Executive Commissioner for (he South 
Australian Court, thinking the occurrence of dia- 
monds in South Australia might be of great im- 
portance, submitted the gems to an experi, Mr 
Arthur Dodd of PC Dodd & Sons, diamond mer- 
chants, London, for an appraisal. The gems, of 5 
5/16 ct and 3 1/2 cl v were cut on DoddN recom- 
mendation. His report expressed the opinion that 

A diamond field musi exist near where these diamonds 
were found, for two reasons - First thai the elevation 
of tenunga is aboui the highest point in ihctnngcof 
mountains forming a backbone of the eoimirv, 
therctore these stones could not have been washed 
down lo thai place; and secondly, by the evidence of 
the stones themselves lowing net signs of travelling 
by worn surfaces or broken points, t am therefore of 
(he opinion thai the diggers for gold, who for years 
paM have worked and washed the grmlnd in I hlfr place, 
Have passed unheaded hundreds of diamonds, not 
known? them for worthless crystals or other siones 
of no value. 

His report concluded: 

Wc do raw suppose that Eehunga *= another Smnh 
Africa, bui a! alt events there is every reason to believe 
that the tijStrict is rich m diamond*, and il will pay 
a few enk*rpming men to give it a trial If anything 
like success is attained there will of course be a rush. 
In thai «e* the Government will have to make some 
arrangements for the proper KgUl&tidfl ofclaims and 
companies no doubt will he organized to Larry on a 
>yst?mauc search far die beautiful crysiaU \Souihem 

Following, recommendations ot the Dodd report, 
the Commissioner of Crown Lands in 1879 ap- 
pointed Mr GT. Bean, an experienced gem digger, 
to examine the potential of the Echunga Goldfictd 
for diamonds and to recommend a course of action 
for their recovery. Bean reported that the field "was 
similar to those in South Africa and recommended 
that a systematic searrh be made. He suggested dial 
tour or five men led by an experienced diamond 
digger should search the area. Bean also recom- 
mended that claims be 50 feet by 3d feet, with every entitled to two claims. The discoverer of a 
new find would be entitled to select live claims mid 
a company able to hold a block of up to 10 claims. 
He concluded that the best method was to wash ail 
.soil and gravel in a cradle and screen, and sore the 
screenings on a table. Uean nominated Mr A. von 
Doussa of Habndon, a diamond digger from Kim- 
ber ley in South Africa, as leader of the search party 
{Adelaide Observer, 23 August 1879). 

When the report was published others offered 
their services, One such offer was l a gentleman . , . 
who was wilting to organise a party and make a 

search for two or three months for a payment of 
£5 per week, which would not be claimed if their 
efforts were successful' {Adelaide Observer, 23 
August 1879). 

In IR80, to further help gold diggers on (he fields 
to recognise diamonds, a collection of II rough 
Brazilian diamonds was displayed at the South 
Australian tnstitute, the forerunner of the Souih 
Australian Museum. These were obtained through 
Mr X Boothby in London at a cost of £20. Unfor- 
tunately, They were stolen from Ihc Museum in 
December 18Si, : 

Few additional diamonds appear to have to have 
been found after 18X0; (he only known report was 
of a diamond obtained by Mr Bertram of Echunga 
in 18S6 (The South Australian Register. 22 May 

The recommendations of the Bean Report were 
raised in South Australian Parliament in August 
1879 by Mr Bray (Member for East Adelaide). At 
this time the Commissioner of Crown Lands 
reported the matter under consideration (South 
Australia, Parliament, )H7<»but no further action 
appears to have befen lakeri by the Government and 
the mailer was dropped- 

It has not been possible to accurately establish 
the number of diamonds found on the field between 
1859 and 1900. Brown (1908) estimated that 50 
stones had been found but an extensive search of 
newspaper reports and reports by the Warden of 
Goldfields at Ecbdnga gave definite reference to 
only about 20 stones (Table J). Hales (1909) irsls 
a number of miners as having found gems' on the 
field but no derails of the siones arc given. 


Sterner, Henry; Jeweller; Kundh stnei t AfoVwU. 

Collection of Gold &nd Silver Jeweller? } oonnidaug of Btocm^m. 
E*mog«, Crowe*. N«okUoo«, Ixmkote, aVu. 

Brown, John ; GoM IHgger . ficKuny*, 8o*& J<utt*km. 

Diamond, rough km round on the E^btiogft. Gold Field. 

Glover, John ; Gold Digg >« ; J&AwM^a, SouiA A^trdu. 

Diamond, rougn an found on the IDohunga Gold Field. 

Kir.URP 3- CAUIO|£ita entry for fichungu ibarnoiuis 
exhibited at ihc Paris International Exhibition. 18-78, 

Recent exploration 

Little interest was expressed this century in the 
Echunga diamond occurrence until The mining 
boom of the 1970s cmiced several companies to 
explore the area. The most extensive studies were 
made by Kim here ly Diamond Quest NL and Nickel 
$ Mineral Search NL who contracted Pacific t\\- 
flotation Consultant, to process o\cr 75 tonnes ol 
tailings from the Old Echunga Diggings, but these 
revealed only one microdiamond. CRA F^ploration 
Pty Ltd also undertook extensive geophysical ex- 
ploration in the area and located several magnetic 



TABLE 1. Records of diamond finds at Echunga. 



da re 



Robert Eorcshaw 

New Rush Hill 


2 — first Tound 

Adelaide Observer. 36 March 

William Hail 



3 — a 1 ounce stone (prob. 
quartz), 2 the size of peas 

Adekdde Observer. 21 
January I860 

B.R. Simpson, South 



II diamonds purchased from 

Adelaide Observer, 15 

Austialian Company, 

miners in (he last twelve 

December I860 



John Brown 

Long Gully 


1 weighing 3'/: cts (exhibited 
in Paris) 

Mem. of Proc. by Warden of 
Cold fields, 8 December 1867 

M. Hcuzcnroeder, 



Acquired 2 diamonds, 1 ', * 

Adelaide Observer, 17 Inly 

Chemist, Rundle Si, 


and 1 els (exhibited in 



Melbourne and Sydney). In 
South Australian Museum 

lames Warland 

Echunga diggings 


2 diamonds 

The Lantern, 7 Apnl 1877 

A digger (prob. John 

1 ong Gully 


2 diamonds — 1 weighing 

Mem. oi Proc. by Warden of 

t .lover) 

5H cl& 

Goldlields, 10 Augusi 1877 


Echunga diggings 


1 small diamond 

Mem. of Proc. by Warden of 

Guidhdds, 24 February 1*77 

Col. Biggs 



1 weighing .V,> els 

The lantern, 21 April 1877 




M'j cts (prob. a misprint — 
9W grs = 3 cts) 

Brown 1908 

John Glover 

Poor Man 1 ', Hill 


2 diamonds. One about 14 
grs plus smaller one. >'■■- cts 
whihtlcd in Paris. Now in 
S.A.M. collection. 

H;.les IWW 

Mired Rcnndls 

Poor M>in\ HW 


1 'Kennells Vision" 


Adverti\er. \h him- 1909 

Tom and Roberi Hall 

New Rush Hill 


Claim lo have found the 
lirsl Motie 

Hales 1909 

John Whillis 

Poor Man's Hill 


1 small diamond 

Hales 1909 

lorn Hal! 

Poor Man's Hill 


1 between 2 and 3 gr* 

Hides 1909 

1 oveland, CiOodlilTe. 

New Rush Hill 


Diamonds were found by 

Hales 1909 

Longman, Jimmy 

these diggers 

Gibbs, Sam EweiTi 

Hairy Pitcher 

anomalies of possible kimberlilic nature on [he Old 
Echunga Diggings, Jupiter Creek Diggings and 
Biggs Flat area. Samples from these anomalous 
/.ones contained zircon, ehromite and corundum 
which may be of kimberiitic origin, but no kim- 
berlites were located (Gerdes 1987). 

Western Queen (South Australia) Ply Ltd ex- 
plored for diamonds in the Lobethal area of the 
Mount Lofty Ranges, 20 km north of Echunga, and 
lound fresh picroilmcnite indicator minerals sug- 
gesting possible kimberlites (Gerdes 1987). 

In January 1987, John Popcskul, a fossicker, 
found a 0.91 ct diamond while panning for gold 
near National Dam on the Old Echunga Diggings. 

Diamuno Shi < imi ns i kom Echunga 

Only five of the diamonds found at F.chunga last 
century can be traced. The collection of the South 

Australia Department of Mines and Energy con- 
tains two small diamond crystals, and three stones 
(two uncut and one cut) are in the South Australian 
Museum collection 

The largest of these is a fine brilliant-cut yellow 
diamond of 2.84 ct (Fig. 4). The gem was said to 
have originally been pale red in colour (Cloud 1883; 
Brown 1908), but to have changed colour in the 
1950s as a result of being stored with radioaclive 
minerals. This stone was probably the one cut from 
the 5 5/16 ct crystal found by John Glover in 1877 
and displayed, together with another uncut sione, 
at the Paris Universal International Exhibition of 
1878. Both were cut in London in 1879. The cut 
diamonds were returned to Australia and displayed 
at the international Exhibitions held in Sydney in 
1879 and Melbourne in 1880 (Sydney International 
Exhibition 1879, Melbourne International 
Exhibition 1880) (Fig. 5). The South Auslralian 
Museum Curator's Monthly report of December 



FIGURE 4. Brilliant cul diamond (2.84 ct and 9 mm 
across) from Ihe collection of the South Australian 
Museum (G6S00); this was cut in London in 1879 from 
a rough weighing 5 5/16 ct (photo: J.A. Forrest). 

286 Commissi oners f«r South Australiu. 

Collftctioii at Smith Australian Miiwralf, nrprwinjil for tliu Commis- 
sion hy X. C. Cluud, A, RAM.. V.V,& , F-I.C 


I Briltisnt tub llkPOWl. Ironi Echunga Q<M l'lfM» weight in the mugh. 

51 cami*: present wt-iL-bt. Ill .ariij. SCA. Gov* nun* fit. 
Z Hrlfliknt -.'lit (UfclltoiuJ, In-m fi imnjfu Galil Fields weight in the rough. 

3* carats . pru»«ttt woitrhl. Hi citrate 
3 DUnv)ltit, liiUural i;rj«t»T ( KcmtiiiWig Oni jiUitei trf tdtf Irnkll ootfctwlron - 

wcijfhL, t; CHAM; £<lulli»r« G.>ld f-jeldn. H. TlirMieuiiruuiJnr. 
t PlftDMitl. tijUiirtl rr.vslal, tteulib uctohblrod— wvlifht, li var»L* ; Kohunn 

CuW KleliU, H. KeiiUeiirweUur. 

FIGURE 5. Catalogue ot the Melbourne International 
Exhibition, 1880, giving details ol* lour diamonds from 
Echunga. Three of these stones are now in the collection 
of the South Australian Museum. 

1881 notes the purchase of a diamond, presumably 
the large cut stone in the Museum collection; the 
fate of the smaller cut stone could not be traced. 
The two small uncut diamonds displayed at the 
Sydney and Melbourne Exhibitions are also in the 
South Australian Museum collection; these were 
acquired in 1949, The stones, a sharp trisoctahedron 
of 1.5 ct (Fig. 6a) and a distorted octahedron of I 
ct (Fig. 6b), were the property of Mr H.Y. 
Heuzenroeder, a Rundle Street chemist and coin 
collector, when exhibited, They were purchased by 
the Museum from Mr T.W. Hastings, Heu- 
zenroeder's grandson in 1949 for £45. In a letter to 
Herbert M. Hale, the Museum Director at the time 
of the purchase, Hastings claimed that the two 
stones were exhibited in Paris in 1878, but these 
gems were cut in London after the exhibition. The 
Adelaide Observer of J 7 July 1869 states that 'Mr 
Heuzenroeder of Rundle Street brought to our 
office on 'Rtesday two fine rough diamonds, 
weighing 1 1/2 carats and 1 carat, both of which 
were found at Echunga some time ago' (Adelaide 
Observer, 17 July 1869). Mr Heurenroeder may have 
bought the stones from Mr Simpson of North 
Adelaide, who earlier offered two diamonds to the 
Museum in 1864 . The two diamonds arc certainly 
some of the earliest found on the Echunga 

FIGURE 6. Uncut diamonds in South Australian Museum 
collection (G6505).. These stones, exhibited by the South 
Australian Government at the Sydney and Melbourne 
htiernational Exhibitions of 1879 and 1880, were pur- 
chased from Mr Hastings in 1945. (a) 1.5 ct sharp 
trisoctahedron, 6 mm across (photo: J.A. Forrest); (b) I 
ct distorted octahedron, 4 mm across (photo: J.A. Forrest). 

The two diamonds held by the South Australian 
Department of Mines and Energy weigh 0.836 and 
0.462 ct. Unfortunately, their history cannot been 
traced, but they may be the two stones offered to 
the Museum by Mr Simpson in 1864. - 1 The gems 
arc of good crystal shape and strongly yellow in 
colour (Fig. 7). The larger stone is a combination 
octahedraEdodecahedral crystal, and the smaller 
is a flattened dodecahedron (Hall & Smith 1983). 

FIGURE 1. Two diamonds from the collection of the 
South Australian Department of Mines and Energy. The 
larger stone weighs 0.836 ct and is 5 mm across. The 
smaller stone, a flattened dodecahedron, weighs 0.462 ct 
and is 3 mm across (photo: J.A. Forrest). 



The 0.91 ct diamond (bund on t he Old Echunga 
Diggings in January 1987 is stilt in the possession 
of the finder. The stone has a slightly elongate, 
almost oval shape showing what appears to be a 
combination of octahedral and dodecahedral forms; 
it is pale straw yellow in colour (Fig. 8). 

Mwl , 'RE 8. Diamond, weighing O.sUct (4 , 6 ■ 'nun), 
found near National Dam on the O'd Echurtaa diggings 
by V Popesktj! in January 1987 (photo; J,A, Forrest). 

Othkr Diamond Locai irirs in 

Soi 'Til AtSlKAl I A 

Numerous kimherliie pipes and dykes have been 
(bund in county Kimberlcy, 250 km north of Adel- 
aide. Microdiamonds were recovered from several 
ol these, including; the pipes al Pine Creek, Kctch- 
mval, and Franklyn (Colchester, 1972V 

A total of 140 microdiamonds were recovered 
during exploration of kimherlites near liurelia, 
20 km north of Orroroo, by Stoekdale Prospecting 
in the early 1980s (Scott Smith et uL 1984). No 

larger diamonds have been found in either county 
Kimberlcy or ihe Orroroo kimberlues, and neither 
appear have of economic significance. 

Brown (1908) reports recovery of a 1 ct diamond 
from auriferous gravel at Algebuckina, 900 km 
north-north-west of Adelaide, but no further details, 
including current location of this stone, could be 
traced. Little exploration appears to have taken 
place near this occurrence, 


The author wishes to thank Allan Pring and John 
Drcxcl for assistance and cneourgement with the project 
and particularly for help in finalising the manuscript 
Thanks arc also due to .lohn Pnpcskul, Jan Forrest, Jfiniti 
J'hurmer and June Scrvmgour for their help in various 
ways. The assistance of the staff of the Mortlock and State 
libraries and the South Australian Department ot Mines 
and Energy is gratefully acknowledged. 


1. Attempts to locale copies of the Dodd and Bean 
Reports were unsuccessful and information on iheir con 
tent is drawn from newspaper reports. 

2. Reports hy the Museum Curator on Ihe progress of 
the Museum, November 1863 to 1882. See reports dated 
March 1880 and December 1881. Public Records Office 
GRG19/168, Adelaide. 

3i IxUers and Memoranda received by the General 
Secretary concerning evaluations, donations and purchases 
of Museum specimens and apparatus, 8 Decembct 1857-10 
March 1865. See letters dated 26 February 1864 and II 
March 1864, Public Records Office GRG19/167. 


Adelaide Observer, 26 March IS59. 21 Jan. I860, 15 Dec, 
I860, 17 July 1869, 23 Aug. 1879. (Newspaper 
published Irom J July f843 to 26 February 1931 and 
incorporated into The Chronicle.) 

Advertiser, 16 June 1909. 

KOOTHBY, J 1878. 'Paris Universal International 
Inhibition, 1878: Catalogue of the South Australian 
Couif Waterlow & Sons, I ondon. 36 pp. 

BROWN, H.Y.I - 1908. 'Record ol" the Mines of South 
Austtalia', 4th Kd. Government Printer, Adelaide. 382 

CLOUD, I.C. 1883. A catalogue of South Australian 
Mineral,. Tran.\. R, Sol. S. Altst. ft. 72-93. 

COLCHESTER. D.M. 1972. A preliminary note on 
Kimherliie occurrences in South Australia. J. Geal. 
Soc, Aust, 19: 383 386. 

DREW, G. 1984. The Echunga Gold field. S. Aust. Depl 
Mint's and Energy report 83/042 (unpub- 

DUN ILl.D, I. 1909. Bulletin No. 9. Department ot 
Inietligciiee- South Australia. Government Printer, 
Adelaide. Pp. 3-11. 

GERDES, R.Ai 1987. Qfcopfty^C^ appraisal ol the 
Echunga district with reference lo mincralisaiion within 
ihe middle-late Proterozoie rocks. S. Aust. Depl Mine* 
and Energy report 87/98 18 pp. (unpublished). 

HA1E, HM, 1956. The first hundred years of the 
Museum, 1856 1956. Ret. & Ami. A///V 12: 1 22V 

HAL US, FC t 1909. History ot the Quest. In: Ihe South 
Australian Register, 17 June 1909 

HALL, A.E. & SMITH, C-B. 1983. Morphological study 
of two diamonds from hchtm»a, South Australia, for 
CKA Lxploration f J ty ltd. S. Aust. Depl Mmcv and 
Energy open I He Env. 4994 (unpublished). 

LUMRGOfc, N.R 1980. A guide to the geology and 
mineral rcsouice* ol South Australia. Handbook S. 
Aust. De/>i Mine* and finely No. 5, 230 pp. 

South Australian Court. Official Catalogue of 
Exhibits', Sands St MeDougall, Melbourne. 54 pp. 

&. STRACKE. KJ. 1984. Kimberlilcs near Orroroo, 
South Australia, fn \. Kornprobst (hd.). 'KimtorlitcV.. 



Vol. 1, Proceedings of the Third International 
Kimberlite Conference. Developments in petrology 
series, 11 A. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 121-142. 

in the Houses of Legislature during the second session 
of the Ninth Parliament of South Australia from 29 
May 1879 to 25 October 1879. W.K. Thomas & Co., 
Adelaide. Register, Observer and Journal Offices, 
Grenfell Street. See House of Assembly, 5 August, 13 
August, 27 August. 

The Lantern, 1 April 1877, 21 April 1877. 

The Southern Argus, 24 July 1879. (Published in 
Strathalbyn, South Australia, 17 March 1866 until 

The South Australian Register, 22 May 1886. (Formerly 
South Australian Gazette & Colonial Register 
published in London. Published in Adelaide 18 June 
1836 to 20 Feb. 1931 and later incorporated into the 

'South Australian Court. Official Catalogue of 
Exhibits'. Gibbs, Shallard & Co., Sydney. 46 pp. 

WARDEN OF GOLDFIELDS, 1867, 1877. Memorandum 
of Proceedings 8 Dec. 1867, 10 Aug. 1877. (Held by 
S. Aust. Dept Mines and Energy, Adelaide.) 

WHIMPRESS, J.A. 1975. 'Echunga 1839-1939'. Lutheran 
Press, Adelaide. 159 pp. 


byR. 7. Lampert & P. 7. Hughes 


The climatic amelioration that followed the last glacial maximum (17-15 000 yBP) prompted more 
widespread human occupation of the Australian arid zone. Whereas the better watered Flinders 
Ranges were a focus of human activity as early as 15 000 yBP, the shores of Lake Frome became 
popular during generally moister conditions of 9.5-4 000 y BP, and the widespread occupation of 
the Strzelecki Desert, with its highly epheremal surface water, took place mainly within the last five 
thousand years. Technological change accompanied these movements. The Kartan industry, dating 
to 15 000 yBP, is present at early sites in the Ranges, while small tools characterise the widespread 
recent sites. Lying temporarily between these is an industry of core tools, shaped differently from 
those of the Kartan, found on the early Holocene Lake Frome sites, On the evidence of this and 
earlier investigations, the Kartan has an upland distribution, ranging from hills of Kangaroo Island 
to the desert highlands of the north. 



LAMPL.RT, RJ. & HUGHES, RJ. 1986. E«rlv human nCCUflalT^Ti ol the lliudcts Ranges, toffi 
S .w. Mum. 22: 114-168, 

The climalic amelioration that followed IhclaM glacial mammum (17-15 (*W >'UP) prompted 
more widespread human occupation of the Australian arid /one. Whcrca* 'lie bci r i -u I 
Hinders Ranges were a focus ol' human activity as early as 1? 000 >BK ihc shoves ol lakeTronte 
became popular (luring generally moisrer conditions of £5-4 000 yBP, and (he WJlfa|)fc&<l 
occupation of I he St r/elecki Deserl, wild ih highly fphememl -tn ta^o water, took place main!, 
wiihin the last five thousand years, technological change accompanied these movements. I In- 
Kartan industry, dating to 15 000 yUP. is present at early sites in the Ranges, while- small Lu 
characterise the widespread recent sites, Lying temporally between these is JO imhiMrv 0\ 
tools, shaped differently from those ol the kartan, found on the early Iloloecnc I ak borne 
sites. On the evidence of this and earlier investigations, the Karum has an upland distribution. 
ranging from the hills of Kangaroo Island to The desert highlands of the north. 

R.J, l.amperl, Australian Museum, ft- N College Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 and P I 
Hughes, University o\' Papua New Guinea. P0 fVn 320, Port Moresby. Papua New Guinea. 
Manuscript received 23 December 1987. 

Our research on early Aboriginal occupation of 
the Flinders Ranges, and adjoining areas of the arid 
ZOlie Of south-eastern Australia, began on Lemperaie 
Kangaroo Maud, .several hundred kilometres to the 
south (Lampert 1981). There, attempts to dale the 
Karian industry, present only on surface sites, had 
met with limited success. The presence ol rhis 
industry also on parts of the mainland close to 
Kangaroo Island, together with evidence for the 
separation ol the island from the mainland by post 
glacial sea rise some 9 500 yBP (years Before 
Present), suggested a late Pleistocene age for the 
industry. This view received support from the 
absence of large core tools, which are the hallmark 
of the Kartan, from a number of .sites on the island 
with ages ranging between II 000 and 4 300 yBP, 
These sites have securely stratified occupation 
horizons containing acceptably large samples of an 
industry characterised by small adzes and scrapers 
made on stone fluk-v 

Lampert concluded from his Kangaroo Island 
research I hat the Kartan was a regional variant of 
the core lool and scraper iradition, the earliest 
Australian stone-working iradition yet recognised, 
that it dated back to the late Pleistocene; that it 
preceded an industry of smaller tools, made on 
(lakes rather than cores, this succession being part 
of a trend towards smaller tool types throughout 
Australia; and that the later industry was essentially 
pari ol Ihc mainland small tool tradition despite 
the absence from Kangaroo (stand ol later and more 
ehataetcristie tool forms (Lampert 1981). Olher 
more tentative hypotheses were raised, notably one 
concerning the differences between the Kartan and 

more widespread examples Of thC QQ*K tOOl Wild 
scraper tradition Whereas laigC cote tools pit 
dominate in the Kartan. such tools arc smaller and 
fewer in other industries ol the nmJitioti, the mm - 
more common tool being u Hake scraper, However, 
large core tools predornmale in somt early Mies |(| 
South East Asia, lands from which Australia must 
have received its early human population. The 
similarity of these tools to those of the Kartan h 
been noted eat Iter (Tindale 1937; McCarthy 1940, 
1941, 1943), all hough later research (Matthews 1966) 
showed that tins relationship was not pamcuhoK 
close. This evidence raised the possibjlhv that the 
Karian was different from other industries of the 
Australian core toot and scraper LTadifion because 
it had retained tool forms earlier in origin If 'hi-, 
is the case, some Kartan sites should have aces in 
excess ol 30 000 yeais. 

To address such questions, there was cVarlv a 
need lo locale the Kartan in stratified cOnW&ta (ha 
would allow its .ige and culiuraj u*.s'jvialiom tO K 
determined more accurately. "The discovery ol -lu 
able sites on Kangjmo Island arid nearby penitmilav 
of the mainland seemed unhkely given the nwrnbci 
of lengthy reconnaissances thai hud already fallal 
in this attempt. Attention was turned in the ffiiv Ic 
Ranges where Cooper U94?.i had reported fnc di* 
eovery of Kartan tools. 

The northern sector of the Rao med iht 

more promising because, lying, whlun iU and /one, 
it was Subject to a cycle of depositor, ami ■ n 
that could cover archaeological materials and 
pose them again lo allow discovery. 



In the event* investigations there illuminated not 
only the problem Cl£ the Kartan bui also general 
questions about the antiquity and nature of human 
occupation in the arid zone of south-eastern 
Australia (cf. Gould 1971, Bowdler 1976, Norton 
1981, Ro^s 1981). 

THt setting 

Present environment 


Structurally, by far the larger part of the Flinders 
Ranges {see Fig.. J) has developed from sedimentary 
rocks laid down between 500 and 1 000 million 
years ago These rocks were compressed, buckled 
and fraCtUredi Ihey were uplifted slowly and eroded. 
In lire arid northern Ranges, where vegetation is 
sparse, the intricate folding and faulting, and the 
effects of erosion, can be best appreciated. The 
landforms here are spectacular, the Ranges as a 
whole rising abruptly from the surrounding plains, 
and containing deep gorges, jagged ridges and 
enclosed synclinal basins or 'pounds', the best 
known of which is Wilpepa Pound Predominant 
among rock types is quarUlte which grades out into 
sandstone and siltstone. Limestone is fairly ex- 
tensive, some igneous rocks ate present in the Mt 
fainter region, and there are a few small outcrops 
or silcretc. To the north, the Ranges become more 
subdued and eventually terminate in the dune fields 
and stony plains of the Str^eleeki Deseit. 

Sandy plains some 30 km in width separate the 
northern Ranges from Lake Frome to the east and 
Lake Torreris to the west These lakes are huge saline 
playas that rarely contain water. Streams flowing 
from the Ranges soon peter* out, reaching the lakes 
only rarely, Under this regime, the streams drop 
their bedload of sediments within a short distance, 
causing alluvial fans to form on the piedmont. 

Climate and vegetation 

The northern Ranges receive an annual rainlall 
slightly less than 300 mm which decreases from 
south to north, the northern limits falling below the 
250 mm isohyet. These average figures are deceptive 
because of considerable variation in rainfall from 
year to year, Rainfall is 50% greater in the Ranges 
than on the surrounding plains which receive only 
200 mm, a figure that diminishes to a mere J25 mm 
in the heart of the StrzelccM Desert and at l^ke 
Frome. As well as having a highei rainfall, the 
Ranges have deep shady chasms with a rocky 
substrate that allows the retention of surface water 
in pools. 

The plains, by contrast, have only highly ephe- 
meral streams and salt pans, plus a few widely 

spaced artesian springs with water that is not always 
drinkable. The northern Ranges are thus a reason- 
ably well-watered strip within an arid region. 

Vegetation communities in the Ranges vary main- 
ly In accordance with soil types which in turn reflect 
the kinds of parent rock and weathering processes 
to which they have beet! subjected. SoiJs range from 
skeletal soils, found mainly at higher latitudes, 
through red brown soils and podsOls, to the deep 
alluvial soils found in valley bottoms (Kuehel 1980; 

Shrubland dominated by various species of 
Acacia, Cassia and Eremophita is common, panic 
ularly on the stony soils of upper hill slopes. Native 
pine {Callitns eolumctlans) and sheoak (Casuartnu 
stricta) are found on lower slopes and Hats. 
Calcareous podsols developed on a sandy base are 
colonised mainly by mallee (Eucalyptus $pp.) with 
Spinifex {Triodia irrituns) occurring on more mobile 
sands, Wants of the family Chenopodiaceae, 
including salt bush {Atriplex spp.) and blue bush 
(Maireana spp.l are found on stony flats and hill 
slopes, notably at the northern end of the Ranges 
and on the Lake Frome plain. Valley bottoms and 
stream courses support the lofty river red gum 
{Eucalyptus camatdulensis) % specimens of which In 
the better watered gorges reach an enormous size. 

Past events 

Bej'ore 45 000 yBP 

Evidence from (his early period is sparse, but 
thcrmo-lumineseence (Tl ) dales for the onset of 
dune building in the northern Strzelecki Desert at 
least 250 000 yBP (Gardner et ai 1987). indicate 
thai desert conditions were in place well bcfoic 
human occupation of the continent. In the 
WiUandra Lakes, jusr outside the prcsem arid /one, 
well-developed soils below lake bed deposits give 
evidence for dry conditions from 
120 000-45 000 yBP (Bowler & Wasson 1984). 

40 000-25 000 yBP 

Significantly wetter conditions throughout sou- 
thern Australia are shown by a variety of evidence. 
Lakes filled in the WiUandra system and in south- 
eastern South Australia (Bowler 1971). Rivers of the 
Murray-Darling system were up to lour times their 
Pic-em width (Pels 1964, Bowler et aL 1976), Lake 
Eyre covered three times its present area and was 
up to 17 m deep {IWidale 1980: 30). 

Lake Frome experienced a high waicr phase 
minimally dated by C-14 ro 36 800 ± ) 700 yBP 
from Coxiella shells in a beach ridge, while a dune 
thought to be associated with rising kike levels has 
3 TL date of 48 000 £ K WO vBP (Gardner et aL 

During this moist phase, high rates of runoff and 
erosion in ;he Ranges produced the immense 




Simpson Dcsen 

Cooper Basin 

FIGURE I. Places mentioned in text. 



alluvial fans thai form the pediments pi hill slopes 
and exiend outward across valley bottoms, t ol 
levtively, these sediments are known as the Pooraka 
I 01 .nation (Williams 1973). They are up to 10 m 
hfttefc where out through by Hookina Creek, just 
north of Hawker township. Radiocarbon dates 
indicate that this formation had begun to build up 
before }S 000 yBP and was completed by 30 000 
yBP, alter which the absence of sedimentation 
allowed a soil profile, known as the Wilkatana 
Palaeosol, to develop on its .surface. Bones of 
Pleistocene fauna, including Dipmfodan, have been 
recovered from deep sediments of this formation 
along Hookina Creek. 

25 000 JO 000 VHP 

Conditions became cooler and drier ihroughout 
southern Australia. The Willandra lake levels were 
low and fluctuating; at fake PYomc there was a 
change from lake deposits to dune building; in the 
Sfr/eteeki Desert extensive sandy clay dunes began 
to form (Howler & Wasson 1984). 

20 000-15 000 yBP 

This was the coldest and most arid phase, with 
Jakes drying up and acolian activity at its most 
intense The Willandra system became almost com- 
pletely dry. dimes were formed around Lakes 
Tonens and Pro me, and continued to be built in 
the Strzeleeki Desert.. Near Edeowie Creek in the 
northern Ranges, dunes were formed on (op of 
sediments of the Pooraka Formation, Dissection, 
by irregular stream action, of Ian and valley fill 
sediments of the Pooraka formation began at this 
tune, and continues today (Williams 1973), 

15 000-10 000 yBP 

This period was one of transition between earlier 
intense aridity and later, moistcr and warmer 
conditions. Dune building ceased in the Str/eleeki 

These conditions allowed the herniation of such 
soils as die Motpena Paiacosol, dated to r, 
J2 000 yBP, and present in the northern Ranees on 
hdeowie and other dunes (Williams 1973) 

10 000-5 000 yBP 

More frequent high water levels at Hawker 
Lagoon in the Flinders- Ranges (this report) and at 
Lake Frome, associated with greater vegetation 
cover (Singh 1981), indicate moisler and warmer 
conditions, at leas! ip the south-eastern sector of 
the arid zone, for any time during the past 30 000 
years. Lakes near the south-eastern coast of South 
Australia and on Kangaroo island provide evidence 
tor similar wetter conditions at much the same time 
(Domon 1974a, 1974b. 1975; LVrdson & Wilson 
1975. Lampeii mi). 

After 5 000 yBP 

Drier conditions began to return reaching a max- 
imum around 2 000 yBP when the elimale was 
slijihtly more arid than it is todav (Bowler ei at. 

Reconnaissance of (he region 

A major aim o\' field research tn the Ranges waft 
to locate subsut face Kartart sites which could be ex- 
cavated ro provide the sort of information unavail- 
able from the surface sites encountered previously. 
This information included the age of the Karlan; 
the nature of the Vomplete' industry e.g. whether 
it was as dominated by large core tools as surface 
siics had suggested; and the sttatieraphic 
relationship or the Kartan with small took Another 
interest developed during research lay m the 
geographical spread of Kartan vis-avis small tool 
sites- over a broadei region than the Ranges alone 
since differences might reflect the pace of human 
colonisation of the arid /one. 

North of (he Ranges 

1(1 1970. we reconnoitred transects through the 
Cooper Basin and Str?elecki Desert as well as the 
northern Flinders Ranges (Hughes A Lampert 1980s 
Lampen & Hughes 1980). In the desert regions 
north o\' the Ranges we examined approximately 100 
sues, all of which are of late Holoeeoe age judging 
from the ubiquitous presence of tools typical of the 
small tool tradition, the almost total absence of core 
tools and laige scrapers, and the stratigraphic 
position of these in the unconsolidated surface 
sands of dunes. No artefact was seen in the 
consolidated sediments that form the dune cores, 
and date back 15 000 to 18 000 years despite 
numerous dec^ exposures through them. Al Lake 
Murteree, stone tools protruding from the eroded 
slope of a dune core appeared to be in situ, but later 
excavation showed the tools lie in a slope washed 
skin, consisting of more recent sands, covering the 
eroded face of the dune. In deeper excavation at this 
site, no artefact predating the dunefield was found. 
This had seemed a particularly promising site for 
early occupation, being adjacent to a waterhole and 
near an outcrop of high quality silciete Horn which 
tools al the site had been flaked The absence of 
evidence at such a favourable location suggested 
that human presence before the late Holocene was 
sparse enough to be generally below the threshold 
of archaeological visibility. However, people were 
not totally absent, as the JSN Site shows (Wasson 
1983) This site, some 50 km west of Lake Murteree 
consists ol a lens of charred wood together with 
mussel shell, dated to c. 13 500 yBP and presumed 
to he an Aboriginal fireplace. 


M X 

Mound springs 

1 ticse stretch in a broad arc lhal follows the 
south-western edge of the Great Artesian Basin 
horn Lake frome, across the northern margin oF 
the Minders Ranges, along the south-western shore 
ol Lake Eyre, to Dalhousie on the western edge of 
the Simpson Desert. The springs are natural oullets 
fin artesian water containing a number of soluble 
salts which solidify to form mounds as the water 

The water from these varies considerably in 
quality. \ few springs have excellent drinking water, 
most are brackish but si ill potable, while some are 
biologically inert because of massive quantities of 
salts in solution Except for the last, the springs 
support small areas of lush vegetation, as well as 
molluscs, amphipods and small fish. They attract 
such mammals as the red kangaroo, and birds that 
include ducks, the brolga and stills. Although their 
output of water is low, i he springs appear as oases 
in a region where the annual rainfall averages only 
125 mm. 

Every major spring complex has at least one large 
Aboriginal surface site adjacent to il (Hughes & 
Lamport 1985, Lampen 1985). Variations between 
sites in types of tools, kinds of raw materials, and 
core reduction techniques, are currently under 
investigation by S. Florek (University of Sydney) 
1 ike tnost in the Cooper Basin, these sites appear 
10 have been occupied mainly in the late Holoeene, 
judging from the presence of such small tools as 
pirns, uilas and microliths. Only occasionally arc 
there a few artetacis in carbonate-solidified lower 
sand horizons to give a hint of sparse earlier 

Sues in the Ranges 

We examined a number of sites in the Ranges 
during our 197^ survey. Ch-ambers Gorge and 
nearby Moorowie Well we assume 10 be Kartan 
judging from the presence ol heavy core tools and 
the rarity of smaller flaked artefacts lying on the 
surface. However, the sparseness of artefacts gen- 
erally, and the unlikelihood of finding stratified 
material in the skeletal soils of the rocky slopes on 
which the sites are situated, did not prompt any 
closer icsearch. Only Hawker Lagoon, where stone 
tools of many types, including large core tools, 
seemed to be eroding from stratified dune horizons, 
offered the chance of finding dated sequences. 

In the 30 000 to 38 000 years old sediments of 
the Pboraka Formation along Hookiua Creek a 
quurtzitc core was found well embedded in the 
eroded slope of a gully, We accepted this as being 
in tfftl at the lime (Tamper' & Hughes 1980), but 
on a return visit after heavy rain I ^anipert noted how 
fluid the deposit became when wet. Whole blocks 
of sediment slumping downward and becoming 

embedded in hollows within lower leveK, carrying 
with thern material from the present surface, force 
us to revise our opinion of the stratigraphic pro- 
venance of this artefact. Despite the examination 
of many kilometres of exposures through the Poor- 
aka Formation along the watei courses, no sign was 
seen of human activity in these sediments. 

Lake Froml 

Lying aboul 30 km cast ol the northern Kangcs, 
Lake Frome is a saline playa some 100 km long and 
45 km wide With an annual rainfall ranging bet- 
ween 100 and 125 mm, and an evaporation raie 
exceeding 2 200 mm, it is One of Australia's driest 
places. Because I .ake Frome lies at the end of a long 
chain of ephemeral lakes and watercourses, 
substantia! amounts of water reach it only rarely. 
Cooper Creek, which drains from south-western 
Queensland, must have sufficient discharge to Hood 
Slr/elecki Creek, then I -a key Blanche aud Calla- 
bonna before water can reach Lake Frome 

On the western side of the lake a gravel beach 
20 m higher than the parent lake bed denotes a 
high stand of* fresh water more than 30 000 year* 
ago. Since then, apart from moist phases 9 500- 
8 ODD and 7 000-4 000 years ago (Singh 1981), (he 
lake bed has been almost continuously dry. 

A survey of the western and southern shores 
revealed that artefacts are very rare around take 
Frome. A few sparse scatters of flaked stone, 
vatying in density between one Hake per 5 nt fc and 
one per 50 m 2 being found along the banks ol 
Passmore River (Wilpcna Creek), Balcoraeana 
Creek and the channel joining Lake Frome with 
Lake Callabonna to the north- These sites are all 
within one kilometie of the lake shore. Except for 
one tula slug and a few core toots, the artefacts are 
all undragnostic small flaked piece*. 

Actual sites, that is, places where artefacts arc 
concentrated within a definable area, are similarly 
rare: they are also small and have a low deusiiy of 
artefacts compared with sites in the Ranges. A 
report tollows on detailed research at one of these, 
Balcorucana Creek, and comments on a second, Bii: 
John Creek. 

Bakokac ana Gf&Gk 

The site is on the southern bank of Baleoracana 
Creek, aboul one kilometre upstream from the out- 
lei of the creek into Lake Frome, Only on very rate- 
occasions docs the creek bed contain water The 
nearby dunelield ts interpreted by Dr R. WftSSOtl 
(pers, comiru Gardner ei liL 1987) as being source 
bordering rather than continental in origin. 



FIGURE 2. Artefacts from Balcoracana Creek: b, f and g are core tools from the carbonate palaeosol; a. c, c and 
h from the overlying sand; i and j are adzes from the overlying sand. 




MAY 1983 





FIGURE 3. Hawker Lagoon locality map 



The site is in a dime blow-out, deflation having 
exposed the horizontally bedded carbonate horizon 
of a palaeosol. Ai the time of our investigation, 
artefacts lay scattered both on the surface of the 
carbonate and on the lower slopes of dunes 
surrounding the blow-out. During our initial 
appraisal ( Lamport & Hughes 1980) we noted that 
artefacts lying on the sand appeared to be different 
from those on the carbonate, both in type and in 
whether or not the artefact was coated with 
carbonate. This suggested lo us the possibility of 
identifying two industrial phases at the site through 
more careful scrutiny. In 1981, we revisited the site 
and collected, for closer examination, all stone 
artefacts, noting whether each lay on sand or on 
carbonate. We were accompanied by Drs R. Wasson 
and J. Ash who investigated the age and origin ol 
the dune sands from which the artefacts had eroded. 

The stone industry 

The stone industry consists of 1 451 pieces of 
worked stone found within the blow-out. "ftvosons 
of stone were used; silcrete that is variable both in 
texture and in colour, and a reef quart/ thai is 
somewhat granular in texture. A high frequency of 
rounded cortical surfaces on the artefacts shows 
that the raw materials were pebbles, possibly from 
pebble beds in the Bunnalla formation, exposures 
through which are located within two kilometres 
of the site, 

A list of the various lypes of artefact is given 
below and in Table I but for some types (Fig. 2) 
a more detailed description follows in another 
section of (his report. 

Core tools 

All of these are made on silcrete pebbles that vary 
widely in both texture and colour. Because some 
of the pebbles are water-rounded, sub-angular 
blocks rather than smoothly curved pebbles we have 
chosen to call the group core tools rather than 
pebble tools. 

h'lake scrapers 

These are made on both quartz and silcrete, and 
include typical steep-edged forms at the heavier end 
of the range, while lighter specimens merge with 

Non-tula adzes 

All of these are made on silcrete. They arc recog- 
nized by the characteristics listed by Larapert (I98I: 
134-142), and include one typical burren adze, but 
not all could readily be distinguished from some 
of the lighter scrapers. 

Tula adze 

Made on silcrete, this is a typical lula slug as des- 
cribed by McCarthy (1976: 31). 


Made on silcrete, they display the pitting that 
charaetettses percussion stones generally (McCarthy 
1976: 55-9). 

IABI h I. Balcomcand Creek: artefact types and thou 
cum CM',. 






in grams 





















1 149 

5 510 




2 277 


4 867 

t 145 

10 665 

9 349 

1 022 

15 9S4 

1 45! 

25 333 

Core tool 
Flake scraper 


Non lula adze 
lula adze (slug) 
Trimming Hake 
Silcrete core 
Silcrete fluke 
Quart? piece 

rota! number 
total wet.uhl 

trimming flakes 

All are of silcrete. The small flake scars along 
the platform suggests thai these flakes result from 
the resharpening of core tools. They are similar to 
those found ai Kartan core tool sites on Kangaroo 
Island dampen 1981: 44). 

Silcrete cores 

Unlike core tools, these arc recognised by the 
multi-directional removal oi primary flakes, and the 
absence ol a working edge along which smaller 
flakes have been removed. 

Sdcrete flakes 

Quartz pieces 

Because of the coarseness of the raw material not 
many pieces could be recoenised either us cores oi 
as Hakes, and hence are simply termed quarts 
pieces. Unlike the quartz component of the indus- 
tries from most of the early to mid-Holoccne sites 
on Kangaroo Island, no bipolar cores were tound 
ai Balcoracana Creek, but whether this is due to 
a real absence o\' bipolar flaking or to our inability 
to recognise it among the coarse material is 



Ttme diffetcnce% within the stone industry 

Scattered over (fie surface of the palaeosol ana 
au loose sand remaining from overlying dunes* the 
stone industry presented ihe usual problems of age 
and association that make surface sites difficult to 
assess. To look for temporal divisions within the 
material we examined two lines of evidence. 

One was the presence or absence oi T u earbonaie 
coating on each stone artefact, our assumption 
being that tools coated with carbonate had lain 
formerly in sBw, near the earbonaie rich palaeosol, 
and are therefore relatively old; while tools from 
Which carbonate is absent had been provenance^ 
in higher dune levels, which contain much less 
ground carbonate, and are therefore younger (ef. 
Bowler el at. 1970: 48). Such a strategy had occurred 
to Its during our first visit to the sile in 1979, when 
initial counts ol tool types showed carbonate to be 
prevent on all except one of the 14 core tools but 
absent from the three adzes then located (I ampert 
& Hughes 1980). Following a complete collection 
ol artefacts in the blow out during our 1980 field 
season, these relationships were examined more 

able 2 shows frequencies for the occurrence of 
earbonaie on various types ol arlelact, white Tahle 
3 lists the statistically significant relationships 
using X 2 . The results confirm our initial 
observation that more core tools than ad/es are 
encrusted with carbonate. The same difference 
occuis between core tools and Hake scrapers, while 
another interesting result is the much greater rarity 
of carbonate on quartz pieces than on silcreie flakes 

Before deducing from these differences an his- 
torical progression of artefact types, it is worth 
looking ac another possible cause. Observations of 
sections naturally eroded through several alluvial 
fans in the region show, beyond doubt, that carbon- 
ate coating is removed from pebbles following their 
exposure, presumably by wind and rain. From this 
evidence it is possible thai more core tools* are car- 
bonate-coated because they were exposed only 
iceeuiry, while adzes have lain for longer on the 
surface. However this would again suggest a greater 
depth below ihe suifacc for the provenance o\ the 
core tool* 

<>f the two mechanisms considered so tat for dif- 
ferences in carbonate coating, both suggest that core 
looU generally lav buried deeper than adzes and are 
iheretore older, We see no other likely cause for the 
pal lcu> ol carbonate encrustation The silcretcs used 
lor bmh tool types are broadly identical- Although 
■coic tools have mote cortical surface^ than Hake 
tools, carbonate coats the flaked surfaces of core 
tools as tnuclt as it does the cortex, There is no 
obvious lateral vaiiaiion in ihe distribution of the 
two tool types. We therefore tentatively accept this 
evidence <t5 support for the greater antiquity o\' core 
tools at Ihe sifc. 

TAB1 K 2. Balcorucaua Creek: carbonate coaling Olj 














1 142 

t\ire loot 
Flake scraper 
Non-tula aidze 
Tula adze (slug! 
Silcreie core 
Silcieee flake 
Quartz piece 

A second method for seeking temporal divisions 
within the assemblage was to record during 
collection whether each artefact lay on the palaeosol 
or on ihe overlymg sand. We reasoned thai, by 
natural means at least, artefacts would have moved 
downward, bui could not have moved upward, us 
the blowout developed. Artefacts found on the 
palaeosol would thus include a larger numbci 
originally from lowei levels, while a greater number 
of ( hose from the dune flanks would be from upper 
levels. Initially we divided the dune Hanks into two 
Mraiigraphie levels, consolidated lower and loose 
upper sand, but because the samples were too small 
to allow us to make use of this separation, we 
combined them and simply compared palaeosol 
with sand- 
Table 4 shows the distribution of artefact types 
on palaeosol and sand (Table 3 listed the differences 
lhat can be supported statistically). Adzes are more 
likely to be found on the sand than are core tools, 
but this dillerence is at the 'probably significant' 
level as is Ihe increase in quaru pieces over silcreie 
Hakes on the sand. 

Likeearbnnate coating, this is not firm evidence 
for historical changes in the stone industry. How 
ever, the i wo lines Of evidence do support each 
other. Compared with core tools, fewer ad-tes are 
carbonate-coated and fewer are from the palaeosol. 
Similarly, fewer quart/ pieces than silcreie flakes are 
either carbonate-coated ot from the palaeosol. 
Further, there is a strong positive correlation bet- 
ween catbonare coating and palaeosol as a context, 
for all artefacts (tables 3 and 4). Wc conclude ten- 
tatively that, withm an industry containing core 
tools and Hake scrapers, adzes became popular later. 
and the use o\ quart/ increased. 

Do tin a 

Several radiocarbon (O 14) and TL dates (Oard- 
ner et a/, 1987) provide a time framework lot 
the build-up of the dune series from which the 
artefacts have eroded (Table 5 ). Dates for the palae 



osol, both from carbonates formed within it, and 
from land snails (Stnumelon sp.j embedded in its 
exposed surface* show that the antiquity of the 
earliest tools must be less than 13 000 yBK It is 
presumed that the carbonate-coated artefacts were 
eroded out of carbonate rich sands, dated by TL 
10 c. 10 000 yBP, lying immediately above the pal- 
aeosol, Other artefacts, without carbonate on their 
surfaces, came from more recent sands, which 
continued to accumulate until after 5 000 yBP. 

As demonstrated later (Tables 5-7), the industry 
as a whole is typologkalfy akin to that from the 
Kangaroo Island site oi Pigs Water Hole, For which 
an early Holoccne date is favoured (Lamport |981i 
W), while the scrapers and non-tula ad/es arc like 
those from several Kangaroo Island sites dated 
between c. II 000 yBP and c. 4 300 yBP (Lampert 
198J). Dated tulas from elsewhere in south-eastern 
Australia indicate that the tula found at this site 
dates to within the past 5 000 years, while evidence 
already discussed suggests that this specimen was 
deposited during the latter pan o{ the site's 
occupation. Assemblages of late Holocerte age 
found in the lower Munay Valley (Hale & Tindale 
1930, Mulvaney I960) and the Flinders Ranges (this 
report) contain a much higher proportion of typical 
small tools (pirris, tulas and backed blades) than 
does Balcoraoina Creek with its single specimen, 
again suggesting that the site was occupied for some 
time before such toots became popular. 

To accommodate all of the above evidence, much 
of the occupation of Balcoracana Creek must have 
occurred during the first half of the Holocene, the 
site being occupied less intensively alter 5 000 yBP. 
Looking beyond the site itself, such a sequence of 
events would explain also the pattern of other, 
smaller, surface sites along the creek bank towards 
the shore of Lake frome. These are visible only in 
deep blow-outs; no artefacts can be seen in higher 
sands that form the general land surface. Core tools 
and Hake scrapers, but no typical small roofs, were 
seen during our reconnaissance of these sites. 

Specific iypohmcul relationships 

To compare core tools with those found at South 
Australian sites further south, we measured the 
same attributes used by Lampert (1981). Tables 5, 
6 and 7 set out the mean and standard deviation 
values For attributes measured on the interval scale, 
and compares these values with those derived from 
pebble tool samples from sites on Kangaroo fsland. 
As significance levels for rhe /-tests show, the 
Balcoracana Creek tools are similar to those from 
Pigs Water Hole, but unlike pebble tools from 
Kartan sites on Kangaroo Island (lampert 1981). 
Using a discriminant function classification pro- 
cedure on the same data. 60"> of the sample was 
grouped with Pigs- Water Hole and JtJJ with 


TABLE 3. Balcoracana Creek; results o\' hypothesis 

Hypothesis tested 

Significance level 


.01 | .001 

I. < .hi hinrj<r touting 

On more core tools than 


On more core tools than scrapers 


On more tore tools than cores 


On more siterere tlafe than 

quartz pieces 


2. Cofilcst 

Mint- ft9&$ than core roofs on 


More adeca than other flaked 

tools (core tools and scrapers) 

on sand 

More quart/ pieces ihun silcrete 

flakes on sand 


3. Carbonate coating related in 


Fewer carbonatd-coated artefacts 

on sand 

IAttLL 4. Balcoracana Creek: distribution of 
artefacts with carbonate coating. 









On paUeosol 
Ou sand 

Turning io attributes measured on the nominal 
and ordinal stales, there are no significant 
diftercnecs between the same three samples in the 
characteristics of edge damage and edge shape 
specif Led by Lamport (1981 j. Bui in the orientation 
of rhe worked edge, most of the Balcoracana Creek 
tools are end-worked, while most ol" those Prom 
Kangaroo Island are side-worked, these differences 
(using X : ) being significan! for Kartan and 
probably significant lor Pigs "Water Hole. Because 
end-worked tools should, almost by definition, have 
a shorter working edge than those that are Mdc- 
worked, these results are consistent with the 
differences in T»erecniage of retouch 1 (Tables 5, 6 
and 7) between Balcoracana Creek and the 
Kangaroo Island sites. 

To compare the Balcoracana Creek scraper 1 ; and 
non tula aoVes with Scraper/adzes' from Kaniumn. 
Island, we combined the rwo categories, and meas- 
ured the same attributes recorded by Lampert 
I J 981). fable 7 .sets our rhe mean and standard dev- 
iation values and compares these with the values 
for Pit»s Water Hole scraper/adzes. The Balcoracana 
Oeek tools are somewhat larger and are less steeply 



TABLE 5. Core tools from Balcoracana Creek (BC) compared with Kartan pebble tools (Lampert 1981) by 
univariate /-tests. S.D. = standard deviation, N = sample size. 



Significance Level 
NS .05 .01 .001 






(N . 15) 

(N = 116) 
























Retouch length 




Retouch percent 




Angle edge 








TABLE 6. Core tools from Balcoracana Creek (BC) and Pigs Water Hole (PWH) compared by univariate t- 

tests. S.D. - standard deviation, N = sample size. 



Significance Level 
NS .05 .01 .001 






(N = 15) 

(N = 12) 































Retouch length 






Retouch percent 






Angle edge 













R.i. I AMP) in & p.j. HUGHES 

TABLE 7. Scrapers, ad^es from Balcoracana Creek (BC) and Pigs Water Hole (PWH) (Lampert 1981) compared 
by univariate /-tests. S.D. = standard deviation, N - sample .size. 




Significance level 

NS .05 .01 .001 





<N - 28) 

(N - 24) 












IS. 3 













Retouch length 






Retouch percent 





Angle edge 






(7 0) 





retouched, bur have the same general shape of the 
Pigs Water Hole tools. Also, the proportion of tools 
that are side-worked does not differ significantly 
between the sites. Scanning the data for other 
Kangaroo Island sites, the same relationships ap- 
pear to be true also between these sites and Bal- 
coracana Creek, even though there is noticeable var- 
iation between Kangaroo Island sites in scrapcr/adzc 
typology (Lampert 1981: 136-137). 

Further, the proportion of core to flake tools docs 
not differ significantly between Balcoracana (reek 
and Pigs Water Hole. The two sites exhibit a fairly 
close relationship in their stone industries, perhaps 
partly a reflection of their broad similarity in 
geographical region and antiquity. However, before 
these industries can be looked upon as useful 
regional or chronological markers, a wider sample 
of dated sites must be examined. Such research is 
currently under way. 

Big John Creek 

This site was investigated by Lampert on the 
advice of geomorphologist, Dr J. Bowler (Museum 
of Victoria), who had reported the presence of large, 
carbonate encrusted artefacts lying on the surface 
of the 20 m beach fringing the western shore of 
Lake Frome. The artefacts lay on a sector of the 
beach that had been cut through by Big John Creek, 
an intermittent channel carrying runoff from the 
Ranges towards, but rarely reaching the lake. Their 
presence there invited speculation that they may be 

associated with high lake levels over 30 000 years 

In the event, the artefacts were found to lie. as 
a lag deposit, not only on the ancient shoreline bur 
also on the stratigraphically more recent Coonar- 
bine Formation, a broad series of sediments ranging 
in age between 26 000 yBP and present (Callen 
1975, Callen & Ted lord 1976, Wasson 1983). The 
distribution of the artefacts followed the creek 
banks, not the beach. 

Within an area ol some 400 m 2 , on the part of 
the beach that is also the south bank of the creek, 
the industry was examined in more detail, but not 
collected. The only formal tool type recognised was 
a core tool, most of which arc end- rather than side- 
worked (8 end, 4 side, 6 side-end), and similar there- 
fore to those from Balcoracana Creek, only some 
30 km to the south. On this evidence, as well as that 
of stratigraphy, the industry is likely to be early 
Holoccne in age, 

Summing up a( Take Frome 

The main phase ot human occupation of the 
Lake Frome shoreline occurred during early Holo- 
cene times, the principal evidence being provided 
by sites on the lower courses of creeks a kilometre 
or two upstream from the lake shore itself. The 
rarity of typical small tools, ^jven the fact that these 
are usually abundant on lale Moloecne sites, indi- 
cates only sporadic visits by people within the last 
5 000 years. This pattern Off occupation fits well 



with the palynological evidence which shows a 
moisier phase with more luxuriant local vegetation 
7 (KXI-4 000 yBP, after which conditions became as 
arid as they are today (Singh 1981). The popularity 
of Creeks flowing from the Ranges as camping 
places suggests that ihese watercourses had a more 
reliable discharge, and the Ranges, a highet rainfall, 
than that of today. 

llAWktk Lagoon 

The setting 

Hawker lagoon (Fig. 3) lies towards the northern 
end of a synclinal valley, known as Wilson Pound, 
just 8 km west of Hawker township. The valley is 
between steep quartzite ridges, Yoummbulla Range 
to the east and Yappala Range to the west-, which 
converge to a narrow gorge at the northern end At 
Hawker Lagoon the valley floor is about 2 km in 

The Lagoon itself is a canegrass swamp slighrJy 
less than I km wide which a local resident, Mr K 
league, has seen full of water only three times in 
the lasi 40 years. It contains small amounts ol water 
more frequently than this, bui most of the time is 
a completely dry depression that supports a thicket 
of cane grass. 

On the southern shore of Ihe swamp is a lunette 
rising to some 10 m above the lowest point in the 
swamp bed. The position of a lunette on the south- 
ern rather than the, more usual, eastern shore (e.g. 
Bowler 1971) is explained by the north-south align- 
ment of the valley which protects the swamp from 
prevailing westerly winds but exposes it to parching 
winds from the north. 

Being near the head of the valley, the catchment 
of the swamp is small, consisting only of the slopes 
of the eastern and western ridges, and the short 
stretch of valley to the north as far as the watershed 
less than 2 km distant. The swamp has two outlets, 
one on each side of the lunette, from which watei 
Mows southward, evemuatly forming a well-defined 
water course (Wilson Creek). 

Dunefields extend along the lower hill slopes and, 
in places, encroach, upon the valley floor. The 
SOUrCft 6| sand, both for these dunes and the lunette. 
i\ ultimately the quaitzitc ridges. Sand, washed 
downslope into the depression, was transported by 
northerly winds to form the iunctte. Because the 
largest dunefields are immediately south of the 
lunette, deflation of the lunette has probably 
contributed sand to dune formation down wind. 


In many places sand has been gripped away, by 
deflation or gullying, to expose stone artefacts, the 

densest concentralions being beside the two outlet 
channels. Artefacts along the eastern channel arc 
emerging from the lunette itself and extend south 
wand only as far as the outer rim of the lunette, 
while those beside the western channel are eroding 
from a dunefield and extend from the south-western 
shore of the swamp to a point some 300 m south 
o\' the lunette. Sites on the western side ol Ihe valle> 
are even more extensive than this, reasonably dense 
concentrations ol artefacts being found in exposures 
through ihe dunefield some 800 m south of Ihe 
swamp. Smaller sites are present for a greater dis- 
tance, and occur sporadically along the banks of 
the creek until at least the southern end of the valley, 
some 3 km from the swamp. 

The concentration of artefacts around the west 
ern outlet channel is not only large but also very 
dense, reaching 400 pieces of flaked stone per square 
metre in places, and having an average density 
between 100 per nr and 150 per m 2 . There is great 
variety too, both in artefact types and in raw 
materials: large cores, core tools and flakes made 
of iocal quartzite, grindstones of sandstone, and 
such small tools as pirns, rnienjliths and tulas, made 
of a wide variety of imported, fine-grained silcrctes 
and cherts. 

During our initial inspection of Hawker Lagoon, 
we discovered a large core tool apparently in situ 
in a compact lower horizon of the dunefield along, 
the western side ai the valley about 300 rn souUt 
of the swamp. We also noticed that microlithic mat- 
erial was eroding from the uppermost sands, sug 
gesting the presence of a two phase industrial 
sequence. To test this hypothesis, Lampcri returned 
to the site for several seasons of excavations while 
Hughes visited less frequently to investigate the 
sedimentary history. 

Sile stratigraphy 

The north-western sector 

The main excavation ucnen called HLI (an 
abbreviation of HLl-5 shown on Tig. 4) was opened 
up in the richest part of the concentration of 
artefacts in the dunefield, jus* beyond the western 
end of the lunette. Examination of stratigraphy 
exposed in the side of a gully (Fig. 4) at this poim 
had revealed four superimposed layers of sand: 

1. Unit IA, the lop unit, of loose orange sand 
(Fig, 5: !)> from which microlithic maicrial was 

2. Unit IB, the middle unit, of grey brown 
compact sand (Fi^. 5: 3), in which no artefact was 


3. Unii II A, not present in this part o\' the site, 



4. Unit JIB, the bottom unit, of tightly bonded, 
almost rock hard, ted sand (Fig. 5: 3), from which 
core tools, cores and large flakes appeared to be 

5. Unit 111, mottled yellow and grey clayey sand 
wilhout artefacts. 

lit this gully and along the edge of the dunefield 
lacing (lie swamp units I A and I H, and the top few 
centimetres of Unit IJB had been stripped by 
erosion. The exposed surface was of the hard unit 
11B material* on which some artefacts lay and others 
seemed to he still in situ. After our experiences at 
lake Muneree and at Hookina Creek (this report), 
there were obvious dangers in accepting artefacts 
as being in situ without thorough investigation, 
Therefore, in a residual in the gully, where all lluee 
strata were superimposed, a trench 4 > 2 tn was 
opened up. Artefacts were found in all three units 
but not in sufficient quantity in Unit IIB to allow 
the bottom industry to be characlen/ed, nor was 
charred wood suitable for dating found. Also, the 
hardness ol this unit made excavation difficult and 
very stow Three more seasons were needed, and the 
trench was extended to a total of 4 • 6 m ( before 
a reasonable sample of arlelaets, and a carbon 
sample of acceptable quality for dating w*re 

Having established through excavation that 
artefacts are unquestionably embedded in Unil IIB, 
we increased the sample by removing those 
emerging from IIB sediments exposed in the gully 
floor, Before removal, the matrix around each 
artefact was half sectioned to a depth of 20 crn to 
make sure it was in undisturbed unit IIB sand and 
no' a slope washed skin. In all cases the matrix 
icmained consistent, through depth, with the 
stratified unil IIB sands in the main excavation. 
Therefore, artefacts were judged to be in .situ. 

Paling of HLI 

Radiocarbon dales from Trench It LI are shown 
in lable 8. The single soil carbonate date (Unit III) 
provides only a minimum age for the sediments 
themselves. Judging from its wide divergence from 
the consistent series 0\ charcoal dates above, the 
carbonate formed much later than Unit II sedi- 
ments. Also worthy of comment is the modem date 
for Ll nil I A, a horizon thai rtiusl have suffered post- 
occupational wind disturbance, lying diseon- 
formably on Unit IB. 

HL JO and Hi. J?: the lagoon bed and lunette 

Trenches HL 30 and HL. 32 were excavated by 
Professor R.V.S. Wright (Dcpt of Anthropology, 
University of Sydney), who visited Hawker I OgOOfl 
during our 1982 field work season hi search of 
fail rial remains and other environmental evidence 

in the swamp sediments, Trench HL 30 is a I nr 
lest pit in approximately the centre of the lagoon 
bed, excavated to a depth of 1 6 m and from there 
augered to a total depth of 3.0 m below the surface 
of the swamp bed. Throughout this depth The 
sediments were found to be hard clayey sand, grey 
in colour and devoid of straugraphic differences. 
Other than an occasional fleck of charcoal, no 
organic substance was seen, nor was pollen found 
in samples submitted to Dr J. Dodson (Universilv 
of NSW). 

A line o\ auger holes extending from the swamp 
bed southward across the eastern end of the lunette 
helped lo locate where lacustrine and terrestrial 
sediments intersected at the shoreline. At (his point. 
Trench HL 32, a I nr test pit, was opened up to 
investigate possible siraligraphic relationships bet- 
ween artefacts and the lunette; 

The trench was excavated to a depth irf 1,0 tn. 
then a small sondage was dug for a further 40 ; in 
The srrata encountered were: 

A 0-45 cm loose orange sand becoming 
compact with depth — backed 
blade at 45 cm 

B 45-65 cm light grey sand containing a 
small flake at 65 cm 

C 65-115 cm hard red clayey sand — tiny 
carbonate Hecks in top 4 cm 
— no artefact recovered 

I) 130^ cm mottled yellow and grey clayev 
sand, intersecting with the guy 
clayey sand found in the 

From i he outset, several of the strata seemed ttkfi 
those o\ HLI; stratum A corresponding to I 'nil IA. 
C to UB, O to III, but B having no counterpart in 
HLI. Stratum B is interpreted as heath sand, partly 
because of its loose, coarse texture, but mainlv 
because it is present only at the swamp margin. 
where st'diments found while angering the swamp 
bed meei with Unit 111. It diminishes in thickness 

IARLL Hi HI I radioLarhi.ii dates. 

Unit Unji Sample _. 
.to. ilgjrd Jeprh Dwrtun *■* 

lent) fein) 

IA 20 15-20 SftttCttfl 6" I 5(1 

charcoal ill (SUA: 2254) 

loose sand 

IB 20 32 l£32 Spuiwnsd 5 100 . 100 

charcoal (SUA: 2253) 

IIB !MI2 104-112 R.L-pU,<- in U 770 * 270 

pit lM_:A:2Ul) 

III H2« UM20 Calcium 2 950 ± 70 

Carbonate tANU. 3353) 




0-5 km 

lo°o l KARTAN 



FIGURE 4. Plan of main excavation area of Hawker Lagoon. 

and peters out, southward From the swamp, as auger deflation had not only unearthed a large number 

holes revealed. 

HL 40 and the north-western sector 

Further to examine these putative relationships, 
HL 40. another I m 2 test pit was opened up on the 
lunette some 100 m S\V of HL 32. At this point, 

of artefacts but also revealed straligraphy like that 
seen in HL1. Three strata were revealed: 

0-12 em grey-brown compact sand 
containing flakes 




z J*-'' ' - Nam ri w* ' ■ i<' x "\ ■'«;■'■ 

FIGURE 5. Stratigraphy of Trench HL1-5, Hawker Lagoon: 1. Loose orange sand (IA), 2. Disturbance (animal burrow), 
3, Compact, grey-brown sand (IB), 4. Grey-brown clay band, 5. Hard red clayey sand (IIB), 6. Scattered charcoal, 
7. Hearth in pit, dated by SUA: 2131. 

HL 32 

HL 40 

HL 1 



ORAN&I 5»«0 

<€» BfiCH SAND 


#IAR Of U»1fO 



CQilB«cr SANCt Jl 


BECOMING r.A[ I ■■ irRivwi 


MOURE 6. Composite section showing straiigraphie relationship between the three excavation trenches at Hawker 
t agooi}, 

12-62 cm hard red clayey sand with tiny 
carbonate flecks in top 4 em 
and containing core tools 

62 ■+ cm carbonate zone in mottled 
yellow and grey clayey sand 

These are unmistakably the same strata as Units 
IB, IIB and 111 in trench HLI some 700 m westward 
(Fig. 6). At HL40, Unit I A has been stripped away 
by deflation bur is present just a few metres away 
on the surface of the lunette. 

Having established this relationship, a line of 
closely spaced holes was augcred between HL40 and 
HL32. These show that the top stratum (A) in HL32 
is continuous with both Unit IA and Unit IB, even 
though no clear division can be seen in the HLS2 
section, while stratum C is continuous with Unit 
IIB in HL40 (Fig. 5). 

HL TT and the south-western sector 

HL TT is a section, exposed in a creek bank, 
500 rn south of HLI, showing the dune stratigraphy 
at this part of the site. 








HA 22-57 



Loose orange sand 

lying disconformablv 

on II A 

Fairly compact red 

sand with large 

carbonate nodules in 

lop 15 cm, lying 


ably on IIB 

Hard red clayey sand 

Mottled yellow and 

grey clay with 

carbonate horizon 



>8 380 i 
(on carbon- 

>13 930 ± 
140 yBP 
(SUA-I 751) 
(on carbon- 

Because the eroded sediments above Unit U were 
discontinuous between HLTT and HLI, a complete 
stratigraphic section between the sites could not be 
examined. However, Units I A, 1 IB and III are com- 



mon to both sites, and are clearly identical in terms 
ot appearance, hardness, stratigraphic position and 
age. Unit IB is absent from HLTT, its stratigraphic 
position between 1A and II B being taken by IIA, 
a compact red sand with massive carbonate blocks 
in the top third of its thickness. 

Regional stratigraphy and palaeoenvironments 

From the morphology of the valley, it is apparent 
that all wind blown deposits overlie the tails of 
alluvial fans which mantle the middle and lower hill 
slopes. According to Williams (1973) such fans are 
part of the Pooraka Formation deposited between 
40 000 and 30 000 years ago. However, there is no 
evidence for human occupation in the region at this 

The earliest aeolian sedimentary unit encount- 
ered, Unit III, is also devoid of evidence for human 
presence. Lying between Unit II B and the Pooraka 
Formation, Unit I II must have been laid down some 
time between 30 000 and 15 000 years ago. Lying 
conformably below Unit MB it appears to have still 
been accumulating at the end of this period. Thus, 
the upper sediments of Unit III may be part of 
widespread dune building of the arid phase which 
lasted altogether from 22 000 to 13 000 yBP 
(Bowler & Wasson 1983). 

Unit IIB sands which contain the earliest evidence 
for human occupation, accumulated around 15 000 
yBP, towards the end of the arid phase. Red in 
colour, IIB sands resemble those of the Edeowie 
dunes, some 45 km to the north, which also built 
up during the arid phase (Williams 1973). This was 
overlain by IIA, also a red sand but not cemented 
as tightly together as IIB. Towards the top of IIB 
a layer of massive tabular blocks of soil carbonate 
developed (Section HLTT) dated to older than c. 
8 400 yBP, but possibly a local expression of the 
Motpena Palaeosol dated to c. 12 000 yBP (Wil- 
liams 1973). 

A phase of erosion followed, Unit IIA being 
stripped away completely in some areas (e.g. at HLI) 
and stripped down to the top the blocky carbonate 
palaeosol in others (e.g. at HLTT). In places where 
IIA had been stripped away the surface of IIB was 
weathered, then disconformably overlain by IB. We 
see no obvious reasons for this in the climatic 
models available. According to Williams (1973), 
from 16 000 to 12 000 yBP in the Flinders Range 
the climate was temperate with sufficient moisture 
to allow soil formation, while from 12 000 to 
5 000 yBP conditions were generally more arid but 
rainfall was of great intensity causing high stream 
discharge rates. However, the broader climatic 
model of Bowler & Wasson (1983) shows the arid 
phase diminishing after 15 000 yBP but persisting 
until at least 13 000 yBP, after which conditions 
continued to improve as the moist phase of the 
Early Holocene was reached. Neither of these 

models offers an explanation for the weathering of 
Units IIA and IIB, which might result from peculiar 
local conditions caused perhaps by the site location 
in a narrow valley through which wind is channelled 
either from the north or the south. 

The stratigraphy revealed in HLTT can be traced 
over most of the south-western sector of the Hawker 
swamp site complex. Because this sector had been 
cleared of its original woodland cover (mallee and 
native pine) much of it has been eroded deeply, 
usually to a level within the Unit IIB clayey sand. 
However enough remnants of overlying deposits are 
present to show the consistency of the stratigraphy 
across the sector. 

Core tools, cores and largish flakes were found 
on and eroding from the exposed horizontal surface 
of Unit IIB but typical small tools are extremely 
rare in the south-western sector. Two core tools were 
found in situ within IIA while a number were 
found, as a lag deposit, on remnants of the exposed 
horizontal surface of IIA. Wind erosion seems to 
have ceased on reaching the horizon of massive 
carbonate nodules, which are harder than the sandy 
matrix of IIA. Later, the deposits were dissected 
deeply by numerous small streams carrying runoff 
to the valley floor, leaving flat topped columns o\' 
sediment capped by carbonate. While the nature of 
the sediments that have blown away cannot be 
ascertained beyond doubt, sections at the edge of 
the cleared land where upper deposits are still 
protected by mallee woodland, show that the IIA 
red sands continue for some 20 cm above the car- 
bonate horizon. Because carbonate horizons form 
within, rather than on, a sedimentary unit, it seems 
likely that IIA red sand once lay above the car- 
bonate horizon throughout this sector of the site. 

Summing up the stratigraphic evidence 

Table 9 brings together stratigraphic evidence 
from the various excavations and natural exposures 
discussed above. While not all strata are present in 
any one section, three (IA, IIB and III) are present 
throughout, and two others (IB and IIA) are closely 
dated enough to allow them to be placed in 

The slone industries (Figs 7-10) 

Surface evidence 

The seemingly patchy distribution of artefacts 
shown on the site map (Fig. 3) results partly from 
lack of visibility where erosion has not occurred. 
This map shows also that while the Kartan industry 
is widespread, the small tool industry is confined 
almost entirely to areas where the two outflow 
channels emerge from the lagoon, where its dis- 
tribution overlaps that of the Kartan. 

Two controlled surface collections, designated 
HLA2 and HLSWI, were made in the cleared rec- 
tangular areas where the industry appeared to be 



purely Kartan i.e. large core tools dominant but 
small tools entirely absent, while a third (HL7) was 
made at the western end of the lunette in a purely 
small tool area on recent sand (Unit I A) on the top 
of a dune. 

Surface collection HL A2 

This was collected near HL TT, in the SW sector 
Of the site. Here the landscape is deeply etched with 
erosion channels, leaving less deeply eroded 
pedestals of sediment. Large core tools, cores and 
flakes were found both lying on the surface of these 
pedestals and partly embedded in the IIA red sand, 
some exposed in vertical sections being unques- 
tionably in situ. All the exposed material was col- 
lected, and the following artefact types were 

Flake scraper 
Core tool 
Trimming flake 



' % 










Smfift collection HL SWl 

This was made in the extreme south-western 
corner of the site, where Ihe eroded area finishes 
abrupily at an old fence line, beyond which the 
dunelield is well stabilised by its original thick cover 
of mat lee. Along the eastern side of the fence linc f 
where the site lies, the sediments have been eroded 
down uniformly to Unit III material, on which the 
artefacts now lie. This surlce is devoid both of 
vegetation and of naturally occurring stone. From 
the outset this area looked like a typical Kartan site 
on Kangaroo Island, with its predominance of large 
core tools among artefacts. However* it was seen 
to have an important advantage in that the industry 
is fully exposed on a clay base, unlike the Kangaroo 
Island sites where both vegetation and naturally 
shattered stone aroused suspicion of a bias in 
sampling (Lampert 1981). 

A strip, 150 >: 30 m, parallel to the fence was 
marked out and all stone collected. The following 
artefact types were identified: 

TABLE 9. Correlation of dune stratigraphy at Hawker Lagoon. 




Relationship with swamp 


Archaeological evidence 

I A: loose, 

orange wind- 
blown sand 


Both units lie above 
beach of former high 
water level; water level 
now low 


Late Holocenc: present 
day land surface. 
Modern carbon date 
from bottom of unit 
shows post-depositional 
wind disturbance 

Small tools including 
geometric microliths 
concentrated in small 

IB: compact, 
sand; presenl 



only in and 
near lunette 

Mid-to late Holocene; 
date of r. 5 UK) yBP 
I'tom bottom of unit 

One small thumbnail 
scraper of microlithic 

Beach sand at 
swamp margin 


Water level high 

Early-mid* Holocene 

Microlith lying on, but 
not in. beach 

None recognised 



of IIB and 


Terminal Pleistocene? 

None recognised; no lag 
of artefacts on MB 


IIA; red wind- 
blown sand 
present only 
in SW sec 
tor of site 


Greater than c. 
8 400 yBP on carbonate 
horizon which could be 
Motpena Palaeosol (<. 
12 000 yBP) 

Kartan tools 

MB: hard, red 
clayey sand 


Both units continue 
below beach oi' high 
water level 

Pleistocene; date of c. 
14 800 yBP from pit in 

Kartan tools 

III: mottled 
yellow and 
grey clayey 
sand with 


Greater than c. 
13 900 yBP on carbonate 
date, bin must be older 
than IIB 







A~ ' 



FIGURE 7. Core tools from Hawker Lagoon surface collections: a and b from HL2; c and d from SWL 



FIGURE 8. Core tools from Hawker Lagoon Unit MB: a-f excavated from exposed surface (HLZ). 













Flake scraper 
Core tool 
Trimming flake 

Surface collection HL 7 

This was made in a small (3 x 4 m) patch of I A 
sand some 40 m N. of the main excavation trench 
HL1. Wind had exposed a heavy concentration of 

small artefacts over a larger area, of which HL7 was 
seen as typical. The following artefacts were col- 

Geometric microlith 

Tumbnail scraper 

Miscellaneous retouch 

Bipolar core 



















FIGURE 9. Core tools from Hawker Lagoon Unit UB: a and b from HLZ; c and d from Trench HL1 

The preponderance of flakes over other artefacts 
is noteworthy, as is the small size of the material, 
most of which is 1-2 cm 2 and the largest piece, a 
Hake, has a length of 5 cm. The 2 594 artefacts have 
a total weight of only 1 860 g. 

Also of interest is the high density of artefacts: 
more than 200 m : at this one stage in the process 
Of deflation A year later, further erosion of IA sand 
had exposed a similar density of artefacts in this 
same small patch. This is typical of eroded patches 
in the north-west sector of the site suggesting that 
an immense amount of flaked stone lies buried 
within the nearby dunes. 

Excavated samples from HLJ and HLZ 

Table 10 shows the distribution of artefact types 
through the three sedimentary units in HL1, the 
main excavation trench. Unit I IB has been divided 
into three levels of equal depth to demonstrate that 
artefacts are embedded deeply enough in it to have 
been deposited during the unit's sedimentation. 
Also shown are the artefact types excavated from 
HLZ, the eroded surface of 1IB sediments adjacent 
to HL1. The HLZ artefacts provide a larger sample 
from UB than that given by HL! alone. 

The excavation of trench HL1 confirms that the 
two industrial traditions, recognised from surface 




f ■ 




FIGURE 10. Artefacts from Hawker Lagoon Trench HLI: a to i, Rake scrapers from Unit IIB; h piece of reniform 
slate scraper from 1A; k and I, microliths from 1A; m, thumbnail scraper from IB. 

evidence, were popular at different times. The 
earlier, dated to around 15 (XX) yBP, is characterised 
by core tools, trimming flakes and a high core to 
flake ratio (1:23). The later, dated from about 
5 (XX) yBP, onward, is characterised by such typical 
small tools as geometric microliihs, a pirri, 
thumbnail scrapers, a fragment of a reniform slate 
scraper and a low core to flake ratio (1:616). 

Other changes occurred during the history of 
occupation. Sixteen of the core tools from IIB (HLI 
and HLZ) arc made on quaruile and one is on 
silcrcte, whereas the microliths, pirri and thumbnail 
in I A and B are all made on silcrcte. Flake scrapers, 
however, are made on silcrete and quartzite in 
roughly equal proportions throughout. This in- 

creasing popularity in the use of silcrcte can be seen 
best in Svaste' Hakes (Table II), a change that is 
statistically significant. The size of artefacts 
changed, seen not only in the obvious change from 
core tools to small tools, but also in the decrease 
in size both of Vastc' flakes (Table 12) and of flake 
scrapers (Table 13) both changes being statistically 
highly significant. 

Excavated samples from HL40 

In this eroded area at the eastern end of the 
lunette only part of Unit IB and all of IIB were 
available for excavation, IA having been stripped 
away entirely. The following artefacts were recovered 
from Unit IIB: 



TABLE 10. Hawker Lagoon: excavated artefacts from HIJ and HLZ. 

Ill 1 














































MB i 
IIB ii 
1TB iii 





















IIB ii 
IIB iii 








Core tools 


Trimming flakes 

N % 

81 92.0 

1 1.1 
3 }.4 

2 2.3 
1 1.1 

This I rrr lesi pit confirms that artefacts are in 
situ\ that the strata are MB overlain by IB, as found 
also at HLI; and that the IIB artefacts, in which 
core tools and flake scrapers predominate, conform 
with Ihose from HLI. 

Excavated samples from HL 32 

A 1 m 2 tesi pit made lo examine the stratigraphy 
at the lagoon shoreline, HL 32 revealed three strata 
described earlier. The following artefacts were re- 

Units I A and IB 
combined (no strati 
graphic division 

Grey beach sand 

Unit llli 

Flakes 434 
Geometric microlith I 

Makes 63 
Thumbnail scraper 1 

No artefact found 

The microti th was in the bottom 10 cm of units 
IA-IB and the thumbnail scraper was in the top 
10 cm of the grey beach sand. It is possible thai 
more recent material was trodden into the soft sand 
of the beach, indicating that the beach could have 
been formed before the advent of small tools. 
However this could not have been much earlier 
because the exposed loose sands of ihe beach would 
almost certainly have been either stripped away by 
deflation or a protective soil would have formed in 
its upper horizon. Given also the fact that the beach 
lies diseonformably over Unit IIB, which shows the 

same upper zone of weathering here as it does below 
IB, it seems likely that the beach formed nol long 
before IB i.e, at the mid-Holocene. This interpre- 
tation accords with the type of stone artefacts \ou\k\ 
in the beach. Not only is there a thumbnail scraper 
made on a section of a silcrete blade hul there are 
many small flakes of silcrete, reminiscent more of 
the stone from upper levels (IB and IA) in HL I than 
the lower level (IIB). 

Typological relationships among core tools 

To compare Hawker Lagoon core tools with 
from Kangaroo Island, the same metiieal obser- 
vations were made (Lampert 1981), Samples pro 
vided by surface collections HLA2 and HLSWI, 
and by excavation of HL1/HLZ, were each com- 
pared with a sample of 76 block loots from Kang- 
aroo Island (Fig. II). As Tables 14 to 16 show, 
among 27 comparisons there are only two differ- 
ences significant at the 0.05 level. 

There are other similarities between Ihe industries 
of the two regions; 

1. With few exceptions, local slone ol indifferent 
quality was used for core tools. 

2. With the exception of HLI, where the sample 
is small, core tools predominate among formal tool 

3. Given the number of finished tools, flakes and 
tnullidiicetional cores are fewer than op non-Kartan 

4. Site areas are large with artefacts scattered 
fairly thinly. 

Given this close correspondence with Kangaroo 
Island, the early industry at Hawker Lagoon must 
also be kartan. 

Humming up al Hawker Lagoon 

Hawker Lagoon is a large open sue with stone 
industries eroding from several strata in a lunette 



TABLE II. HL1 — distribution of unmodified flakes 

of silcrete and quartzite between upper and lower 






I A. IB 







TABLE 12. HL1 — distribution of unmodified Hakes 
according to size between upper and lower units. 


I cm 

1.5-2 cm 

2 cm 









and contiguous dunefield. Artefacts of the Kartan 
industry are present over a wide area, but small tools 
are confined to two localised patches where the 
lunette terminates near the sides of the valley and 
two channels carry overflow from the swamp 
downstream. The Kartan tools are provenanced to 
two lower horizons, IIB and 1IA, dated to 14 770 
+ 270 yBP and older than 8 380 ± 110 yBP, 
respectively; the small tools to two upper horizons, 
IB and IA, dating back to 5 100 ± 100 yBP, and 
possibly to beach sands stratigraphically between 
IIA and IIB. Further excavation is planned to 

elucidate the late Holocene stratigraphy, not only at 
the swamp shore, but also near the location of 
Trench HL1 where the upper horizons (I A and IR) 
suffered post-occupational wind disturbance. 

Over much of the site, Unit IIA is not present, 
presumably stripped away by the same climatic 
event that weathered the surface of IIB. However, 
no particular reason for this event, between c. 
15 000 and $ 000 yBP, can be identified in the 
broad palaeoclimatic history of the region, 
suggesting it may have local rather than regional 

The presence of a beach, stratigraphically bet- 
ween IIA and IB, shows that a stand of high water 
also occurred in the 15 000-5 000 yBP period. 
Because the weathered surface of IIB continues be- 
low the beach, the phase of erosion preceded that 
of high water. The wetter local conditions that must 
have caused the stand of high water are thought to 
be part of the early Holocene wet period evidenced 
for southern Australia generally, suggesting a 
terminal Pleistocene date for the phase of erosion, 

The Region in thc Context or 
Australian Prehistory 

The Kartan industry 

Description of the Kartan industry 

Because some of the main conclusions reached 
in this report depend upon proper recognition of 

TABLE 13. HL1, HLZ flake scrapers comparison between upper (IA, IB) and lower (IIB) depositional units. 

S.D. standard deviation, N - sample size. 



Height /breadth 
Retouch length 
Retouch percent 
Retouch angle 



Significance Level 
NS .05 .01 .001 



I A, IB 


(N ■ 8) 

(N = 16) 












8 J 






I28 h 4 



























(2.1) i 





Balcoracana Creek 





Eyre PenmsuldB 




Hawker Lagoon A2, 

Hawker Lagoon SWI 

1 : 'Sai Yok 


5 e eiands 





Schnapper point 

FIGURE II. Discriminant function analysis comparing Hawker Lagoon and Balcoracana Creek core tools with those 
from elsewhere (daft from all sites outside the Flinders Ranges are mentioned in Lampert 1981: Fig. 36). Note that 
Hawker Lagoon clusters with other South Australian Kartan sites while Balcoracana Creek is closer to Pigs Water 
Hole (PWH). KI - Kaiigaroo Island. 

the Kartan we put forward the following criteria, 
taken from Lampert (1981, 1983): 

1. The Kartan is found on Kangaroo Island and 
in nearby parts of mainland South Australia, mainly 
on open sites near fresh water. 

2. The dominant artefact in Kartan assemblages 
is a large core tool made on cither a pebble or block 
of quarried stone in accordance with the availability 
of local stone. 

3. Kartan core tools have metrical-statistical 
characteristics, described by both Matthews (1966) 
and Lampert (1981), which distinguish them from 
core tools in all other known industries from the 
Australian-South East Asian region. 

4. Another characteristic that appears unique to 
Kartan assemblages is the rarity of flakes, Hake tools 
and cores, compared with core tools. 

5. Kartan core tools are unifacially flaked from 
a flattish base, producing a working edge that 
extends, on average, around half the base perimeter. 

6. With use and sharpening, the edge becomes 
steeper and extends further around the perimeter, 
leading eventually to the classic horsehoof core on 
which the edge is too steeply overhung for the 
artefact to be functional as a tool. 

Since this description was published, other 
information has emerged. From his excavation of 
a 7 000 year old occupation level at the Cape du 
Couedic rockshelter on Kangaroo Island, Draper 
(1987) claims to have recovered Kartan tools, and 
believes that the Kartan owes much of its character 
to the use of a particular reduction sequence, suited 
to the kind of stone. For different raw material, 
another technology was favoured. At the very least, 
this view provides an alternative hypothesis to those 
explored by Lampert (1981) in seeking to explain 
the spatial separation of Kartan from most other 
sites on Kangaroo Island. Characterised by *two 
large pebble choppers, a couple of small ones 
(comparable to . . . examples from Pigs Water Hole 



TABLE 14. Core tools from surface site HLA2 compared with KI block tools. S.D. = standard deviation, N 

sample size. 




Significance Level 
NS .05 .01 .001 





(N - 20) 

(N = 76) 





















Retouch length 




Retouch percent 





Retouch angle 











TABLE 15. Core tools from surface site HLSWI compared with KI block tools. S.D. - standard deviation, N 

= sample size. 




Significance Level 



NS .05 .01 .001 



(N = 31) 

(N = 76) 




























144. 1 



Retouch length 






Retouch percent 






Retouch angle 


82.8 84.0 
(6.3) (8.7) 









TABLE 16. HI excavated sample compared with kl block tools S.D, = standard deviation, N - sample size. 



Significance 1 cvel 
NS .05 .01 .001 






(N a 17) 

(N - 76) 



















Breadth- 'length 












Retouch length 






Retouch percent 






Retouch angle 










(400.6) (451.4) 

. . .)' and 'hundreds of quarizite flakes' (Draper 
1987: 5), I he Cape do Couedic assemblage appears 
to have greater similarity with the Pigs Water Hole 
site (I ampert 1981: 81-96), for which, like Cape du 
Couedic, an early Holoccnc age is indicated, than 
with l he tnore usual range o\ Kartan sites. However, 
the presence of large pebble choppers within the 
assemblage does support Draper's suggestion (1987: 
6) that Cape du Couedic is the 'missing litik'ni site 
variation, indicating a closer relationship between 
Pigs Water Hole and Kartan siles than Lamperfs 
research suggests. 

Research at the Lime Springs site, in inland 
northern New South Wales, has revealed an indus- 
try featuring horsehoof cores and large flake 
scrapers, tei tried Kartan by the authors (Gorecki et 
a!. 1984), in the upper levels of a deposit dating back 
some 19 000 years Because this industry has not 
been fully described by the authors its relationship 
with the Kartan fiom South Australia cannot be 
determined. However, a metrical-statistical compar- 
ison between core tools from South Australia and 
coastal northern New South Wales (Lamperl 1981) 
shows no close tclationship; instead it reinforces a 
view of the Karian as a regional industry confined 
to South Australia. Other writers question the status 
of i he horsehoof core as a tool. Both Kamminga 
(1982) from the absence of use wear, and Ftennikcn 
&. While (1985) from the steepness ol edge angle, 
conclude thai most horsehoofs are simply cores 
rather than core tools, a view not greatly different 
from that of I ampert (1981: 65) who sees the horse- 

hoot core as the worked out remnant of a tool' 
ratliei than a functional tool per \c. 

The geographical range of /he Kartan 

Previous typological studies (Matthews 1965, 
1966; Lamport 1981) establish the Karian as a 
regional industry within the Australian core tool and 
scraper tradition, confined to Kangaroo Island and 
the three nearby mainland peninsulas, Fleurieu, 
York and tyre, with the Wakefield River as the most 
northerly site recognised. That view is changed by 
the present sludy which confirms reports by CoopCT 
(1968) of Kartan sites in the northern I 'tinders 
Ranges. However, no Kaitan she was tound while 
reconnoitring surrounding deseri areas, ranging as 
far north as limamincka, B'udsvilk and Oodnavlatta 
[Hughes & lamperl 1980, 1985; Lamperl 1985); nor 
have Kartan sites been reported from coast ami 
hinleiland to the west and cist of the three 
peninsulas. On present evidence then, the Kartan 
extends from a clearly defined sector ol the South 
Australian coast, through the Mount Lofty Range. 
and the southern and northern Flinders Ranges, bui 
is abscm Irom surrounding regions. As Lam pert 
(1981) shows. Kartan sites arc invariably in hilly 
eoimliy, near cither a stream or lagoon, and usually 
placed on I he lower slope of a hill, often with a 
northerly aspect. Sites in the Flinders Ranges con- 
form to this locational pattern, boih Mount Cham 
bcrs and Mootoowie Well being on slopes near 
streams, while mosi Hawker Lagoon Kartan tools 
lie on the lower slopes of the Yappalla Rannc 



The Kartan industry has an upland distribution, 
ranging from humid coastline in the south to desert 
ranges in the north. Such a distribution indicates 
cultural unity through the long chain of ranges, 
despite climatic diversity. Recent patterns of 
Aboriginal culture show unity within drainage 
basins, but division along watersheds, such as 
ranges (Peterson 1976). However, the ranges in 
question are wide enough 10 have been a cultural 
province themselves. Indeed, present day Aboriginal 
inhabitants of the northern ranges, who were 
interviewed by Lampert, distinguish between *rock~ 
(or hill) people, such as the Adnyamathanha, and 
Nail water* (inland salt lake) people like the 

AgiB of the Kartan 

from its presence on Kangaroo Island, an anti- 
quity greater than the flooding of the land bridge 
that had joined the island to the mainland (c, 
9 500 yBP) is inferred (Tindale 1957, Cooper I960, 
Lam pert J981). While the Hawker Lagoon date of 
c 15 000 yBP confirms that ihe Kartan has Pleis- 
tocene origins, recent excavations at Cape du Coue- 
die. Kangaroo bland, suggest that Kartan tools were 
si ill in use at some sites as recent as c. 7 000 yBP 
(Draper 1987). This modifies the view of Lampert 
(1981), deduced from the absence of the industry 
at several dated sites, thai Kartan tools had gone 
out of use at least before 11 000 vBP, and possibly 
before Ifi 000 yBP. 

Later core tool assemblages 

The Lake Frome sites at Balcoracana Creek .and 
Big John Creek, the Kangaroo Island site at Pigs 
Water Hole, and possibly Cape du Couedic, have 
several features in common, including an early 
Holocene age Like Kartan sites, core tools pre 
dominate in the assemblages, but the tools are 
smaller and have working edges of different orien- 
tation. These differences, though statistically sig- 
nificant,, are not as great as those between either 
group and local assemblages of the smaJI tool 
tradition; nor is there a great time difference 
between the two groups judging Irani the dates of 
Ituwker Lagoon and Balcoracarta Creek. Possibly 
we are looking at a Nub-Kartan' industry, which has 
developed out of the Karian and retained some of 
its features. 

Movement of people 

At Hawker Lagoon the bulk of the archaeological 
evidence is concentrated within two broad phases; 
(t) an early phase around 15 000 yBP with Kartan 
artefacts, (ii) a late phase beginning about 5 0O0 
years ago and continuing possibly until the late 19th 
century- Stratigraphically these phases are repre- 
sented by units JIA-llBand I A- IB, lespeefively, but 

in the three excavated areas JlA is not presented. 
The disconformity between f IB and IA represents 
a 10 000 year gap in the site's despositional and 
human history. Jf the site had been popular during 
(hat lime artefacts should appear as a lag on the 
Weathered HB surface* bill this is not the case. The 
possibility of artefacts having shifted by natural 
means at the site is currently being investigated by 
taphonomiC studies. Conducted by Dr IP White 
(University of Sydney) and (he authors, these studies 
involve annual observation over 10 years 
Preliminary results from fieldwork in 1987 indicate 
that small, flatfish flakes arc moved easily by strong 
gusts of wind, some being blown as much as 4 in 
uphill on an eroded dune lace, suggesting thai the 
'industry' in Unit IA, Trench HL1, which consists 
almost entirely of flakes of this kind, is in faei a 
wind sorted component of an indusny. 

Meanwhile we assume that a whole industry, in- 
cluding its larger elements, could not have been 
swept away entirely by runoff, wind or other natural 
force, and this part of the site was not occupied to 
an archaeologically visible degree during those 
years. Why this should have occurred during the 
early Holocene when conditions were moisl and (he 
lagoon brimming with fresh water seems 

In answer we propose that moistcr conditions 
allowed people to spTead themselves more widely, 
occupying regions that had been inhospitably arid. 
Under this explanation it comes as no surprise to 
learn that the main phase of occupation of the 
shores of lake Frome was the early Hotocene. With 
nu'ist conditions general, the more reliable water 
sources such as Hawker Lagoon were no longer a 

The early occupation of the arid zone 

Recent Aborigines in atid and semi-arid regions 
have a pattern of movement that takes maximum 
advantage of rhe availability of water and other 
resources. During dry times they fall back on re- 
liable sources of water such as streams (Allen 1974) 
or desert uplands (Peterson & Long 1 986). bul after 
rain move out across Ihe landscape exploiting 
ephemeral water sources such as pans, soaks and 
streams, and with them a wider range and greater 
abundance of foods For the Flinders Ranges, a 
senior Adnyamathanha man told Larxipert that his 
people were based in Ihe Ranges bul somelimes *in 
a good season' they made brief forays as far as the 
.shores of Lake Frome One of the places vtsited was 
Eudli Wagloona, on the south-eastern shore of Lake 
hrotne. where Lam pet ( noted an extremely sparse 
scatter of stone flakes (! per 50 TFrb around an 
ephemera! waterhole 

On a much longer umescale, this pattern of 
movement is the same as that env isaged m the mine 
distant past, people based in the bettet watered 



Ranges within a dry phase moving out to the shores 
of Lake Frame as conditions became weiler during 
the early Hoiocenc. 

Hawker Lagoon shares a number of similarities 

with Puriijarra, a rock shelter in the Cleland Hills 
oi' central Ausiralia ui which occupation dates back 
to o 22 000 yBP and appears ro be continuous 
through the last glacial maximum until a! least 
12 000 yBP (Smith 1987). Both sires not only con- 
firm a Pleistocene age for human .sci tlcrncnt of the 
arid interior but are in desetl uplands. At both sites 
the deposits are sandy and devoid or' such direct 
evidence for past environments as pollen or plant 
and animal remains. However, rhe desert uplands 
in which the -site* lie fringe the Lake Eyre Basin 
where strati Tied sediments spanning much ol rhe 
Pleistocene and Holoccne contain a wide variety 
of environmental evidence. This enormous basin, 
draining about one million square kilometres, is the 
locus of future arid /.one prehistoric studies, both 
by the authors and by other researchers (Lampert 
m press, Lampert et at. m prep.). 


This project would not have heen possible without the 
help given by local landholders and other residents, 
notably Mrs T ■ Jarvis ;jnd Mr T. Jarvis, of T'ine Flat'. 
Mr F Teague and family ol Hawker, Ml ami Mrs IX Powell 
Of Quuttt, Mr J. MeHnrcc of 'bividina*, Mr T, Rieek of 
'Me-rty Merty\ Mr A. Wilson of Trome Downwind Mr 

B, Reynolds of *Yankanina\ We were encowaged and 
guided throughout by Aboriginal people ol the local 
Adnyamathanha community, paitictiUirly hy rhe late Mi 
.1. Mckenzie, and hy Mr C\ t oulthard, Mrs P. Mckeo/ie, 
Miss C- WiJton, Mr R. Wilton and Mi I). t oulthanl 

The project was funded jointly by the Australian 
Research Grams Scheme, the Australian Museum and the 
Australian Naiional University. 

A number ol scientists contributed specialist knowledge: 
Dr R- Wassuit (C.S.LR.0) and Dr J. Ash (Australian 
National University) examined dune stratigraphy; 
Professor R.V.S. Wiitmt (University ol Sydney) and Di M. 
Sullivan (University oT Papua New Guinea) worked on 
stmti&raptiie problems at HtiwUi ?.jl*ooh. mi allied Dl 
R. Sprigg (\\rkaroola*) also gave advice; Dr J. Dodson 
(University of New South Wales) sought pollen in soil 
samples; Dr .1. Bowles (Museum of Vicloria) save 
infosmatioti on landrotms and ?)t£$ at I .ake rronie; Mi 
M Smith (Museum aF the Northern Territory), Professor 
Jim Allen (La frobe University) anil Dt Harry Lourandos 
commented on a draft (4 this paper Mr S, Ftorck and 
Ms A. Richards (both Australian Museum) dratted rflOS* 
of the final drawings. 

During excavations ai Hawker l.a»oon. we were assisted 
by rnemhers ol'the Aboriginal Hematic- Unit, Department 
of the Environment and Planning, Adelaide (R. Buchan, 
S. Martin, R. Leuhbers, V. Potc/ny and T Power); h\ 
museum staff and voluntects, and by .oaf! and student.', 
from several universities (S. Robinson, t .A. MeCirath, s 
Wright, 13. Wnyhl. C. Mackenzie, M. Kelly. T. Phillips. 
J. McDonald, G. Alkin, S. Holmes, S. Claydon, R, Sim. 
D- Dimlon, N. Franklin, A. Ros\ V C lurk, V AHenbrow, 
F. Papps, S. Homer, R. White, S. Moss, G. Houghton, 
B Pyemoie, P. Thosley, M. GoimiieniaL A- Cofrt^ M 
Thiidrnan, C. Conrade, A. Blandl'ord and B. English). 

last but not Icasl we thank Mr R. TftWCt (Tnmuda) 
whose information led us to the Hawker Lagoon S5|e, 


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byM. Pickering & 7. Devitt 


This paper presents data on a wooden implement found at a site in north-eastern Arnhem Land and 
discusses briefly its significance for archaeological research elsewhere. 




Pickering, M. & Devitt, J. my*. Notes on a wooden implement type from north-eastern Arnhem 
Land. Ret\ S. Aust. Mus. 22(2): 169-171. 

This paper presents data on a wooden implement found at a site m nortn-castern Arnhem 
I and and discusses briefly its significance for archaeological research elsewhere. 

M Pickering & J, Devitt, Northern land Council, PO Box 39843, Winnellic. Northern Territory 
5789. Manuscript received 4 February 198K. 

This paper illustrates, describes, and discusses a 
paitiujlanype of artefact from north-eastern Arn- 
hem Land, northern Australia. Consideration of 
these artefacts helps illustrate ihc importance of 
functional, as opposed to morphological, obser- 
vations in the typological classification of artefacts. 

The implements were collected during fieldwork 
in the Nhulunbuy area of north-eastern Arnhem 
Land in late 1986, They were recovered from sites 
on a small island which is connected to the main- 
land by a 300 m permanent exposed sandbar, This 
island is basically a granitic rocky outcrop consoli- 
dated by sandy soils and coastal scrub vegetation, 
It is edged by a rocky boulder shore, often steep 
in places. The island is a popular visiting spot for 
Yulngu and white residents of Nhulunbuy. 

During a casual walk around the island, easily 
accomplished in two hours, the authors' attention 
was drawn to the numerous scatters of rock oyster 
shells (Saccostrea mccuilaia). These scatters were, 
characteristically, usually within 20 m of the water 
and on bare flat rock surfaces. The shells were often 
burnt and/or associated with charcoal and burnt 

No sites were observed which had any strati- 
graphic depth or, indeed, potential for formation 
of deposit. The scatters were usually within the zone 
subject to wind, wave and rain action, particularly 
in the summer wet season. Even before we discussed 
these shell scatters with local informants it was 
obvious that they were the product o( shellfish 
collecting lor food. They reflect single transient oc- 
cupation, such as a 'dinner camp'. A small perma- 
nent Yulngu community resides approximately 
2 km away. The island falls within the traditional 
country of the Rirratjingu clan group. 

merits in definite association with the shells and 
charcoal. Figure I provides a field map of the site 
from which these artefacts were collected. This site 
is typical of the location and condition of these 
sites. A tyre lever was seen in a crevice. This may 
have been used for removing the oysters from the 




O Rock 


Concentrations of shelt^ 
and arfefaefs 

D: D; 

FIGURE I. Field map o I site from which artefacts were 
obtained. Scale approximately 1 cm 2 m. Compiled 
from field sketch. 


Two of the shell scatters were subjected to closer 
examination. These contained eight wooden tmple- 

A Yulngu informant (Warramirri clan) identified 
these artefacts as Birngal arid described Iheir func- 
tions as being for picking shellfish out of their shells 
or for the removal and/or cleaning of small skin 



eruptions (caused by parasitic infection or biological 
actions e.g. pimples). They could be produced at 
any time, 

Meehan (1982: 101, 102, 110) reports the similar 
Use of wire and bone points to break open the shells 
and remove the flesh of oysters, (Crassostrea amasa) 
amongst the Anbarra of north-ceniral Ainhem 

Also on the site were several tops of soil drink 
cans., though no cans were found. The informant 
explained that the cans were sometimes used to 
carry oysters back to camps, the tops being removed 
and discarded to make the container. 

The implements are illustrated in Fig. 2 and are 
best described according to their level of moclifi- 

Implement 4 is simply a twig from which the bark 
has been peeled to make a point which has subse- 
quently been rounded through use. Implement I is 
a split twig, triangular in cross-section, retaining 
some bark on the outer surface. The tip is modified, 
possibly through grinding. Implements 5, 6 and 8 
are similar to I and 4 except the tips have been 
shaped through cutting. They retain some remnant 
cut facets. 

Artefact 2 is a single-pointed implement with a 
modified butt. The point is smoothly shaped with 
some remnant cut marks almost obscured through 

rounding, probably by use, The shaft appears to 
have been worked smooth. The butt is abrupt with 
clear cut marks and facets. Implement 7 is bi- 
pointed, The shaft shows clear faceting through 
cutting, though use has rounded the edges. Both 
poinls are rounded. The implement has a low sheen, 
presumably through being held. Implement 3 is a 
highly modified bi-point. It has remnant facets 
along its length showing its manufacture by cutting. 
Use has, however, tended to round and obscure the 
edges of these facets, which do not show up in the 
illustration except in cross section. 


With the exception of implement 4, all imple- 
ments were made with a steel knife. In some exam- 
ples the direct evidence of this, the cut marks and 
faceting, have been obscured through use. Such use- 
wear is probably quick in forming given the hard 
abrasive nature of the oysters' homes. 

Sites such as the one we have described and their 
associated artefacts are unlikely to last long in the 
archaeological record. The action of wind, waves 
and other activity would quickly disperse all sue 
contents. Even where conditions were more stable> 
and formation of deposit likely to occur, the wood- 









2 3 4 5 6 7 

R[QUAG 2. Wooden implements found at site near Nhulunbuy, north-eastern Am hem Land. 

h n, 



en artefacts would rapidly decay, or their tech- 
nological attributes erode to a degree where status 
as implements is concealed. 

The implements also illustrate a question of 
typology. Put simply, the artefacts vary greatly in 
their form but not in their functions. Conventional 
typologies, based on observation of technological 
attributes and unsupplemented by ethnographic 
data, would obscure this functional unity. 

The description of these implements also has 
implications for interpretation of archaeological 
remains from elsewhere in Australia. One author 
(Pickering 1979) has suggested that bone artefacts, 

frequently recovered from south-eastern Australian 
coastal sites, may have been complemented by a 
similar range of wooden points which had decayed 
and so were not represented archaeologically. Fresh 
wood and fresh bone share similar structural char- 
acteristics in the form of high tensile and compres- 
sive strength, which makes them sometimes inter- 
changeable. The morphological range of the 
wooden artefacts described here is analogous to 
examples of bone points found throughout coastal 
Australia. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to 
suggest that similar artefacts would have been 
utilised by other groups which exploited shellfish. 


MEEHAN, B. 1982 'Shell Bed to Shell Midden'. Aust- PICKERING, M. 1979. 'Aboriginal Bone Tools from Vic- 

ralian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. 

tona'. Unpublished B.A. Hons. thesis. 


byR. M. Baker 


This paper describes the construction of a dugout canoe near Borroloola in the Northern Territory in 
1987. The history of canoe making and use in the area is also documented using written and oral 
records. The taping of information about objects collected by Museums has often been neglected. 
This paper illustrates the value of collecting such oral accounts both in documenting the process of 
manufacture and in revealing the wider cultural context of that object. When such information is 
ignored, there is the danger of viewing the collected object out of its social and historical context. 



BAKER, R.M. 1988. Yanyuwa canoe making. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 22(2): 173-188. 

This paper describes the construction of a dugout canoe near Borroloola in the Northern 
Territory in 1987. The history of canoe making and use in the area is also documented using 
written and oral records. The taping of information about objects collected by Museums has 
often been neglected. This paper illustrates the value of collecting such oral accounts both in 
documenting the process of manufacture and in revealing the wider cultural context of that object. 
When such information is ignored, there is the danger of viewing the collected object out of 
its social and historical context. 

R.M. Baker, Department of Geography, University ol Adelaide, GPO Box 498, Adelaide, South 
Australia 5001. Manuscript received 1 July 1988. 

Canoe Construction construction of a dugout canoe which had been 

In 1987, as part of research on the contact history commissioned by the Australian National Maritime 

of the Yanyuwa who live in the Borroloola area of Museum in Sydney. This article presents a descrip- 

the Northern Territory (Fig. 1), I documented the tion of this construction along with background 

to Burke town 



Kalwanyi jr* 

FIGURE 1. Borroloola area and surrounding region. 


fcM. BAkfK 

information on the history of Yanyuwa canoe 
making ajid use.' 

The canoe was constructed by Annie karrakayn, 
her husband Isaac Walayungkuma and Ida Nin- 
anga. Karrakayn is approximately 55 years in ago, 
Walayungkuma 65 and Ninanga 70 (see fig 2). 
Ninanga had previously made a dugout canoe 
which was purchased by the Museum of Australia 
in 19S6. Isaac Walayungkuma is an experienced 
canoe maker who worked on canoes when rliey were 
still constructed Ept use in the area He has also 
made a number of canoes to sell as artefacts. A 
small canoe which he-made is par! of the collection 
of the Museum and An Galleries of the Northern 
Territory. Annie Karrakayn had not worked on a 
canoe before, but like the others she has an intimate 
knowledge ol dugout canoes gained from years of 
experience using them. She recalls, for instance, 
literally growing up in one: 'When Tinr had that 
big boat, that canoe, we used to stick in (hat canoe 
, , . big mob ot kid, right up', 

Walayungkuma and Karrakayn usually live on 
their oufstation Wardawardala, which is about 
30 km from Borroloola. Ninganga once lived in this 
area. put since being widowed usually lives in 
Borroloola. Ninganga and Karrakayn are Yanyuwa 
speakers and Walayungkuma is a Gaiawa speaker. 
All three spent much of their younger days living 
on or near the Sir Edward Pelfew Islands which are 
located at the mouth of the McAnhur River All 
ihree used dugout canoes regularly to move from 
island to island or to visit the mainland. 

Canoes in the area were usually made by a gioup 
of people bul it is new for women to help in this 
process, as Annie Karrakayn notes: Someone was 
helping one another, two or three or four . . . but 
man used to work before* not woman, woman used 
to go hunting for fbod\ A good description of how 
canoe making was a communal affair comes from 
Tim Rabjwurlma: *Wc doublebank/ two fella first 
time cut him, two fella man, riejn two lelia sit down, 
another two fella now, tong lime you know'. On 
another occasion alter a particularly tiring, day's 
work Annie Kairakayn also exclaimed: 'just men 
[used to make canoes], that's llrst time lady, mc and 
her, that's the first rime For us, and I'm sick of this 
too . . . yeah! Because 1 know women didn't work, 
only man 1 . 

The selection ol a suitable tree took four exhaust- 
ing days of searching alone 1 the McAnhur River 
The main selection criteria were size, straightness 
and a lack of branches and holes in the bark. Great 
attention was also paid to checking whether there 
wen- any holes heneath the bark estending into the 
ti unk. The canoe was made from a large paper-bark 
lice- Melaleuca argenfeu* known in Yanyuwa as 
Hinjirri which was felled on the banks of the 
McAr thur River aboui 10 km upstream of Borro- 

loola There are two Ct©6 species in the area which 
are suitable for canoe construction, this Melaleuca 
and the 'Leichhardt pine', Nauclea orien talis; boih 
are common along freshwater streams in the aieu. 

Local Aboriginal people have differing opinions 
on the relative virtues of making canoes from these 
two trees. These conflicting views are based on the 
fact that while the Ix-ichhardt pine is definitely 
easier to work, the much harder Melaleuca makes 
a canoe which is considerably longer tasting. The 
advantages of Leichhardt pines ate discussed by 
lorn Watnbarirri: 'Leichhardt tree , , . easier to cut 
him* and by Tim Rakuwurlma. 'Leichhardt trer 
more soft, good one, you finish quick \ Because of 
the number of canoes that have been made in the 
area in the past from Leichhardt pines, there are 
not any large trees of this species left. Therefore 
when the canoe makers were asked to make a 
*proper big sea going canoe* a Melaleuca was the 
only choice possible. The smaller Leichhardts are 
only suitable for 'kid canoes'. The Yanyuwa used 
to construct small canoes known as 3-dtibarl for 
children to use: A number of people have told me 
how as children ihcy were given canoes 'for training' 

The spot where the tree was felled and the canoe 
was conslructed is close ro a lagoon called Kalwanyr 
(Fig. I) which also has the European name of Goose 
Lagoon. At this spot in the late dry season, the 
McAnhur River is reduced to a trickle and the tidal 
reaches o\' the river arc some 10 km downstream 
in the dry season the river from Kalwanyi to the 
tidal reaches consists of a scries of fresh water billa- 
bongs separated by a combination of stony bars and 
sandy banks. At this time o( year a canoe cannot 
be paddled downstream 

In earlier times canoes were usually made up- 
si ream on the McArthur River in the late dry season 
and then moved downstream when the river levels 
rose after the first wet season rains. This sometimes 
involved using ropes to pull canoes across shallow 
bars. As Eileen Manankurramara rccatls: 'They 
heen put him cross stick and pull him . . . push thai 
canoe right up long big river'. UsualJy however, the 
local rainmaker is said to have provided rain at the 
appropriate time to enable the canoe to be floated 
all the way down the river. Tim describes how one 
year he had to go downstream to Borroloola to tell 
the rainmaker to delay (he rain as the canoe makers 
had not quite finished the canoe. He retails the 
following exchange between the rainmakei and 

Tim Rakuwurlma: 'Don*! make rain ye*'. 
Billy Houktr. 'Right you finish hirn uf>, all right point 
back . . when you finished ihai canoe. mU right - . . 
Ill '•end him Claud fur you, riouclwaier.' 

In keeping with Yanyuwa tradition the canoe * 
called 'Rta-Kaiwanyimara', which can be translated 




FIGURE 2. The canoe makers, left lo right: Ninanga, Karrakayn and Walayungkuma. Also folic Marikbalinya, grand 
daughter o( Karrakayn and Walayungkuma. 

literally as the female one from Kalwanyi*. As 
Annie Karrakayn puts it: 'All the canoe got name 
. . . (from the] country where they come fronv. Tim 
Rakuwurlma called one of his canoes made in the 
Kalwanyi area, 'Rra-Kudanjirnara', because the 
country around this area belongs to Kudanji people. 
There are two general Yanyuwa terms for dugout 
canoes: rra-muwarda and rra-libaliba. The latter is 
of Macassan 4 origin and the former is by far the 
most commonly used term. 

The canoe construction camp was only about 30 
minutes drive from Borroloola. This proximity 
enabled me lo bring out a number of the elderly 
former canoe makers who were keen to sec how the 
construction was going. 1 was told to bring out cer- 
tain people whose opinions were valued. The com- 
ments these former canoe makers made on these 
visits made it very clear that there was a community 
standard of what a *proper olden lime canoe' looked 
like and that the canoe makers had to meet this 

As well as the canoe, the following items were 
made lo go with it (see Fig. 3): 

1. Paddles were made by Isaac Walayungkuma 
from a 'Pine tree', walkuwalku (Calliths intra- 

2. A sail and mast were made by Annie Karrakayn 
and Isaac Walayungkuma respectively. The mast 
was made from a small messmate tree, budanja 
(Eucalyptus tetradonta), and the sail was made from 

3. Jerry Rrawyajinda made a dugong rope which 
is used when harpooning dugongs (and salt water 
turtles) from boats. To make the rope the bark of 
young ma-kawurrka (Acacia toruiusa), saplings is 
pulled off in long strips. These strips of bark are 
called na-wamara and are pulled apart into thin 
threads which in turn are rolled into twine and then 
made into a two-ply rope. A number of separate 
trips were made to get the bark necessary for the 
rope. Most of the bark came from Wulukulirni and 
Ngangkungani (Fig. 1). 

4. Don Manarra made dugong hunting points, 
na-malbi, and a dugong harpoon, ridiridi, with 
'sugar bag* wax 5 binding. The points were made 
from the wood of the mangrove, arndiny, 
Lummtzera racemosa and the harpoon was made 
from the straight trunk of a young messmate tree, 
budanja (Eucalyptus tetradonta). 

Construction lime 

The tree was felled on July 16th. The first work 
on hollowing out the canoe started on July 19th and 



8ALIYARRA mast — 

WATHA pole 
I lit immature ) 

MA-BAYIBAYI sail rope 

NANDA-WUKU (lit her back j 


( lit her 

buttocks I 



place for 
Dugong rope 


(lit her breasts } 


( lit her navel ) 

( lit her stomach ) 

FIGURE 3. Yanyuwa terms for parts of a dugout canoe. 

it was exactly a month later that it was moved into 
Borroloola. Whilst the canoe was in situ, work usu- 
ally proceeded six days a week, with the three canoe 
makers each averaging eight hours work a day. The 
canoe was moved into Borroloola before it was 
completely finished as one canoe maker in par- 
ticular was keen to return to town. Work on the 
canoe was much less consistent once it was moved 

to town. Pressures of town living and the fact that 
the canoe was locked up inside the Adult Education 
Workshop and work could only proceed when this 
building was unlocked, limited the times the canoe 
makers could work. If we had remained in the bush, 
I think the canoe would have been finished in about 
another six working days. A rough estimate for 
person hours for construction is 720 person hours 



hiisoJ on three people working eight hours a day 

for 30 days. 

This figure corresponds approximately 10 The 
only piece of historical information 1 have been able 
to obiain on the lime it took to make a canoe* in 
I lie old days. This comes from Don McLean. 6 He 
told me of seeing a canoe made; J lt had taken six 
of them seven days to hollow this . . - The lump 
of limber was 15 feet (4. 5 ml long but it took them 
seven day^- . . They worked day and nigh I, iherc'd 
always Ik- .someone (working]', if one estimates thai 
each man averaged 10 hours a day, this wouid repre- 
sent 420 man hours. There are two likely reasons 
Why this figure would be less than that for *Rra- 
Kulwanyiniara'. Firsi, Ihe canoe McLean saw was 
about 50 cm smaller if his recoiled ion of 35 feet 
i\ | nrrcct- Second, it is quite likely (hat the canoe 
he observed had been worked on before it was 
moved to the spot where he saw it. The construction 
wotk thai he saw occurred near the mouth of the 
McAtthur River. It is likely that at least some work 
had been done on the log to lighten it and make 
a easier to move, prior to ii being floated to the 
consli uclion site. 

Construction methods 

After Telling, the tree had its bark stripped and 
the hollowing oul of the tog was begun. This in- 
volved making a seiies of cuts 7 with tomahawks 
and axes* tit right angles across Ihe log at about 
20 cm intervals. This formed a series of blocks 
which could then be removed when they were iiii 
by a large adze swung parallel to the Jong av- of 
the log {set- Fig. 4) Most of the hollowing out was 
done in this way. A smaller fcdze was used to do 
.;ome chipping oul ol the Insides and then rhe toma- 
hiiwks were used to do finer work. Finally, files were 
used inside to smooth the surface, On the outside 
of the canoe the same combination of tomahawks 
and files was used. The hardest work was the con- 
struction of the two ends. This was done by Isaac 
Wulayungkuma using a large axe. Thi.s was the only 
example of one of the canoe makers doing all ot 
a specific job. All the rest of the work was shared 
by the canoe maker. When the series of cross cuts 
were being, pui in, it was possible for all three to 
work hi the same lifile. However, when the blocks 
were being removed it was safe for only rhe person 
doing, this rti be in the canoe. WaUyungkuma did 
most Of this block removing but Karrakayn and 
Nineana also did some. 

towards the end of the fout weeks' work at the 
canoe camp the canoe was burnt inside and oul. 
Some of the chips of wood that had been chopped 
off, plus dead leaves and twigs from the felled tree 
were gathered and placed inside and under the 
canoe and burnt. The burning material inside the 
-canoe was stoked by long poles. The flames burnt 

for about five minutes and then Ihe lire smouldered 
for about another ten minutes. The fire was of low 
intensity and was carefully monitored to make sure 
it did not get too hot. This burning was done for 
two reasons, to aid the smoothing up of the canoe 
and to allow it to be Spread*. The spreading was 
achieved by ramming some cross sticks inside the 
canoe flush against both sides and then burning the 
inside of the canoe. As Annie Karrakayn notes, the 
burning and ramming of cross sticks is to 'make it 
wide and [to] clean him really, make him smooth 
, . . that canoe got to burn first, then when it 
finished flame fire, you can hit him (the stick] then, 
knock him m, knock, knock, . I hat stick fall, thai 
mean he wider'. When 'Rra-Kaiwanyimara* was 
burnt it spread sufficiently for ihe cross sticks, 
previously flush against both sides, to be easily 
knocked down to the canoe floor. Then, as soon 
as the fire was cool enough, rasping inside the canoe 

Another good description of burning comes from 
Steve Johnson: 

They used to fill [die canoe] up with water and ic-> 
h Rink for a while arid then put ihe fire in it. pui 
grass and all the shavings. Not sniff ihatVt burn a 
hole in it, bur enough to heat it up, then they'd put 
the sticlcs in and bash the slicks io to spread it. They'd 
spread them a bit at a time, spread them about an 
inch today and then they'd push them back, sink 
them in the water . , . aiid in ahoui a weeks lime 
they'd £el into tbnri again and do Ihe same ihmg. 
They used io Jo that foi months after. Some of thcui 
used lo ro too tar wild they'd start cracking on the 
bottom . - - trom loo much spreading.'' 

Steve goes on to note that the expert canoe 
makers knew from experience exactly how far a tree 
could be spread without cracking d. Steve on 
,i not her occasion gave the following reasons why 
Mac and George Riley made the best canoes: 
Everything they cut was good because they knew 
how to line them up and straighten theiri. they cut 
them with the timber and they were really good 
boats they made If the tree wasn't good enough 
they wouldn't start on it*. 

Initially the canoe construction of Kja-Kalwarryi- 
mara' occurred on the spot where the tree had 
fallen, l.uler, when the canoe was light enough, it 
was moved further down the bank, This was done 
by using a number of poles, cut ftum the trunks 
of small trees, as levers and also by placing the 
canoe on rollers made from short sections of tree 
trunks. It was first placed on a sandy bank and. 
later, on a rocky bar. The latter site had the ;td van- 
tage that the canoe could be raised on large stones 
and the fire could, therefore, burn immediately 
underneath it. As Annie Karrakayn put it. the canoe 
was moved 'because [the new spot] good place, so 



HGURE 4. 'Rra-Kalwanyimara' in the first stages of construction, July 1987. 



we can pur bushes underneath, chips'. The 'bushes* 
and 'chips* Annie relers to were pui tmder the canoe 
and set alighl as pan of the burning process de- 
scribed above, Another advantage ol moving the 
canoe onto the stones was that rhe canoe could now 
be leani bom one side lo another so Lhai Uie under 
surfaces could be worked on. 

When the canoe makers had a day off to go hunt- 
ing or shopping in town Ihey very carefully covered 
with snips of paperbark all surfaces thai would be 
exposed to the sun Annie Karrakayn explained wiry 
they did this: 'We go back home now, town, £0 we 
covered (hat canoe, just keep him away sun, he 
might gei crack ... if it's dry he'll crack but we have 
gOI 'o put paperbark and cover it , . everyday when 
we go out*. 

On I he 14th ol" August the canoe was launched' 
by moving it the 10 m to the McAnhur River. It 
was taken lor a test paddle and the balance of the 
canoe was carefully assessed to determine where the 
rn-jsl weight had 10 be taken off in the final finish- 
ing up work. This balancing work was subsequently 
done ai Borroloola. 

On the lyth of August the canoe was towed into 
Uorroloola after winching ii up the bank and onto 
a boat trailer. Work on finishing the canoe then 
proceeded inside the Adult Education Workshop 
\n Borroloola. The canoe was 'made lighter' wirh 
tomahawks and files. Some further shaping of the 
two ends of the canoe also occurred. At the end 
of tacit day\ work., the canoe was filled up with 
water and covered with wet blankets to keep It from 
drying out too fast. 

Finishing the canoe in town fits in with what 
Usually occurred in the past. The canoes were raken 
down (he liver to Borroloola before the canoe 
makers had completely finished them. They (hen 
wotked on them at their leisure on the banks of the 
river. In the past, as occurred with 'Rra-Kalwanyi- 
mara\ the canoes were paddled to see how well ihey 
floated. If necessary, the canoe makers would 
lighten particular areas to improve the balance. 
During ihts 'finishing off period the canoes were 
att.-n filled up with water and left in the river so 
thai the wood did nol dry our too quickly. A 
number of people remarked rhat the purpose of 
bringing the canoe to town and finishing >t slowly 
was to allow the timber to dry out slowly and thus 
to avoid cracking. 

The mast for the sail was fitted into the canoe 
whoa it was in Borroloola. This was done by drilling 
a hole only fiactionttlly larger than the mast in a 
board thaL rcsLs firmly beLween the nanda-witfthan 
(fig. .M. The ma*i was then towered rhrough this 
hole and lodged firmly in another hole in a mound, 
iianda-ntahalwma, left in the base of the canoe lor 
this purpose. The rear seat or daiadala and the front 
*scnt\ ma-ngadukit for the dugong rope to re^l on 

were also made in Ronolooia. These were made out 
of limber from the "Lcichbardt Pine' (Nauc/ea orien- 
talist, The wood from old packing cases is said to 
be ideal for seats and was much used in the 

HlstoKvoi Aiiokk.inm WaTCRCMFT WTW Akla 

l .Mi'-, and rafts 

The simplest type of watercraft used by Abor- 
iginal people tn the Borroloola area was a swimming 
log. Tim Rakuwurlma told me how he and two 
other Yanyuwa men bad to *gel a log* to help them 
swim from island to island in the Sir Edward Pellews 
after they jumped off a European lugger on which 
they had been employed As well as providing extra 
buoyancy for the swimmer, such logs were felt to 
provide some safely from crocodiles and sharks 
Herbert (n.d.. 155) observed people .swimming the 
Roper River (200 km northwest of Borroloola! 
using such logs. He notes that: It was not clear 
whether the alligators regarded this apparition a> 
a friendly object , or a deadly enemy charged with 
possibilities of destruction to themselves, but in 
either case the log was recognized by the native a* 
a great safeguard'. 

Rafts of various types were also constructed in 
the area. These were typically constructed on site: 
when groups who were walking needed to cross one 
of the large salt water rivers m the region. They were 
constructed in both triangular and rectangular 
shapes. The triangular rafts were similar to the 
Mornington Island one illustrated in Maclnlyre 
(1921: 60) and the Bardi ones from Wesiern Aust- 
ralia (Ackerman I97S* Fie I), 

The Yanyuwa made rafts by lashing together a 
number of thick logs, using twine made from the 
bark of the following trees: karmki (Wright ia sal- 
igntf), ma Ihalhaki or ma murndurmrri (ffmchy- 
chiton rjiversifnlius), ma-rdardaki or ina-yalha 
(Brachychiron paradoxus) and ma-kaworrka 
(Acaciu (orulosu). Twine was also sometimes made 
from lily stems. Paperbark was piled on top of the 
lashed logs \o raise the craft above the water. 
Thomson (19571 and Davidson (1935) note that such 
rafts were used across the whole of northern 

Bark eatioes 

Bark canoes, known in Yanyuwa as na-wulka, 
were made by sewing together the bark o\ die mess- 
mate tree (Eucalyptus tefradonta). They were made 
in the area before dugout canoes were constructed. 
As Isaac Walayungkuma notes, they were 'olden 


fc_V1. BAKER 

lime, first time canoe . - that first time they been 
make them". The Yanyuwa bark canoes were quite 
distinct from Garawa ones made to the east, which 
were smaller and made from a single piece of bark 
The Garawa ones were only used in calm waters 
while the Yanyuwa canoes were suited 10 the rough 
conditions that could be encountered in voyages 
from ihe mainland to their Islands. The Yanyuwa 
canoes had rounded sterns and had extra height in 
the bow to stop waves washing in. 

The first written account of Yanyuwa bark canoes 
is contained in Flindcis' description of his voyage 
around [he Sir Edward Pel lew Group tn December 
1802. He found on North Island two canoes formed 
of slips of bark, like planks, sewed together, thee Jgc 
of one slip ovet laying another, as in our clincher- 
built boats' (Flinders 1814, 2: 171). lie also noics 
that *t heir const ruction was much superior to that 
on any other part of Terra Australis hitherto 
discovered' (ihid: 172) On the grounds of this sup- 
erior construction, he questions whether they were 
made by Aboriginal people. 

Bark canoes ot varying types were made across 
a wide area of northern Australia (see Bell 1956, 
Davidson 1935, Holland 1976, Hornell 1940 and 
Thomson 1934a. J934b, 1939. 1949a. 1949b. 1952 
and 1957) Bell (1956) describes and illustrates with 
a series ot photographs the steps involved in making 
a small bark canoe in the Archer River region of 
Cape York Peninsula. Thomson (1934a) describes 
the construction and use ql bark and dugout canoes 
in the Batavia River area of Cape York. He con- 
cludes that the bark canoe is 'employed chiefly as 
a river craft, while the wooden outrigger canoe is 
a sea-going vessel and is used especially ui dugout 
and turtle hunting' (Thomson 1934a: 229). in his 
1934b article Thomson gives a detailed description 
of the dugout canoes and the dugong and tunic 
hunting carried out from them in the Stewart River 
area of eastern Cape York. In his I93y article he 
documents a localised variation of bark canoes 
made for hunting geese arid collecting eggs in the 
Arafura Swamp oi north central Am hem Land. 
Thomson's 1952 article is a review ot the distri- 
bution of various watererafl across northern Aust- 
ralia. However, on his distributional map he incor- 
rectly excludes the Sir Edward Pellew area from 
having both dugouts and bark eanoes. Davidson 
(1935. 73), likewise, excludes the Pellew group, cuing 
the eastern limits of dugout canoes as the Roper 

Hornell (1940) presenK a world-wide survey of 
canoe tvpes and gives an unconvincing argument 
Tor an evolutionary transition from bark canoes to 
dugout to plank boats, fie does, however, give 
geQd detailed desciiprions of three bark canoes 
made in the Borroloola area that he saw in Ihe 
South Australian, Victorian and New South Wales 
state museums. 

One of the best descriptions Of a bark canoe 
being constructed is thai ot Ranfield. He describes 
how a Cape York mail got the bark Yaw from the 
tree [and how] he would soak the single sheet in 
water and while sodden, steam it ovet a smoky fire, 
and, as it softened, mould it with hand and knee" 
(I9IR: 127). 

Despite their frailty these bark canoes were used 
by Ihe Yanyuwa to make lengthy sea trips. Spencer 
& Gilleri, whc» were in Borroloola in 1901, describe 
(1912: 484) a bark canoe carrying six men from Van- 
derlin Island to Borroloola. This is a voyage of 
about 50 km across the Gulf of Carpentaria then 
50 km up the McArthur River. Spencer & Gillen 
also include a delailed sketch of a bark canoe (thid. 
483) and give a description of their manufacture 
iibid.' 482-484). Tim Rakuwurlrrta rW told me of 
a Yanyuwa revenee party that sailed all the way to 
and from Massacre Jniel in Queensland tn bark 
canoes, a return trip of about 400 km. This trip was 
made at the turn of the century and as Tim notes, 
it was made in paper bark canoes *nu*wiilk* . . , 
paddjc him all ihe way* Dinny Nyliba McDinny 
also recalled in 1986 how, when he was young, his 
family travelled back and forth in bark canoes along 
the Gulf of Carpentaria coast between Manangoora 
and Robinson River, a distance of about 100 km 
each \\ r c\y. 

Spencer in his notebook gives a detailed descrip- 
tion of how these bark canoes were constructed; 

The silt water men rmild very decent canoes. They 
^i rip . , , long pieces pi bark off the bi& wattle fttui 
and sow them together at each end and then ihcy 
have a lontj thin bough which forms the e unwal on 

Luch snle , . . fund wliichj are held lightly .vO etched 

by meant; of sticks which run across from side to side 

Some ol these canoes are twelve and fifteen tea long 

:md will hold Ihrec or four men (Spencer 1901: 
9 8 , JO 

Bark canoes remained in use in the area alter the 
M.Kassans introduced dugout canoes, presumably 
because of the ease ol bark canoe construction, 
Puradiec gives an eNampIe of the continuing use of 
bark canoes, recording a Very fine canoe — twenty 
kct long — |thail was made of a large sheet of bark' 
(Paradiee 1924; 7j and includes a photograph ot it. 
Similarly Pyro Dirjiyalma who was bom around 
1930 and who ;ejcw up in Garawa country on the 
coast to theeast of Borroloola, recalls such canoes 
being, used but also notes thai bark Cannes were 
becoming rare !*just Abdul finished'), when he was 
young. Tim Rakuwurltna describes how a bark 
canoe could be made in only two days: 'Na-wulka 
I been make thai kind . . not hard work like 
canoe, him two days that is all . . . mend I sew] him 
all the way . . , tie him quick, %ve been mend linn 
with that string now*. 



Because of" the ease or their construction, the 
bark canoes could be treated in a Fairly 'disposable' 
manner. Brown, the Northern Territory Government 
Geologist, for example, visited the Borroloola area 
in 1907 and described how a bark canoe was pad- 
dled out to meet Lhe steamer 'and as the eimoe was 
stove in against 'he side of the vessel they lei it float 
away and remained on board' (Brown J908: 6). 
Brown goes on to also describe {ibid: 1\ how they 
Vassed canoes with blacks crossing lhe river on two 
or three occasions', 

"Whilst bark canoes had the advantage of quick 
construction they were not nearly as durable or as 
safe as dugout canoes. Many Yanyuwa people can 
recount stories of relatives drowning as a result of 
bark canoe mishaps. Tim Rakuwuilma, for exam- 
ple, describes his older brother drowning in one 
such incident that Tim managed to survive by 
holding onto his mother: 'My mother, I been hold 
[her] shoulder all the way long Wulibirra country 
[the nearest landfall to lhe spot where the canoe 
sank] . . . bark canoe r no good one . . he been 
leak, when no canoe yet . . . behind (after), him 
been make (dugout canoes)'. On another occasion 
Tim told rnc, *no youd bagger, plenty men been 
drown . - i more good one Leichhardt tree, leave 
that messmate canoe now, leave him altogether'. 
Isaac Walayungkuma and Annie Karrakayn in the 
following exchange also stress the dangers of bark 
canoes and the comparative advantages of dugouts: 

Isaac Walayungkuma — Wutganyi" he drowned for 
Hood now, he can'l float, no furthci. he sink right 
down finish. 

Annie Kurrakayn — [dugout canoes when full of 
water) turn him around . . , or sometime just bail 
linn nm quickly (indicant doing thii by shaking the 
canoes back and forth]. 

Auother important advantage which dugouts 
have over bark canoes was that they are sturdy 
enough to allow the erection ofa mast and sail. As 
well as making the canoes faster and saving much 
effort in paddling, the sails add to the handling oi 
canoes. The anthropologist Donald Thomson, who 
made great use of both canoe types in his travels 
ifl northern Australia, notes (1957: 19) that sails, 
helped steady the craft in a following, sea'. It should 
be noted, however, ihat sails of a sort wen? used in 
paperbark canoes. A number of people have des- 
cribed to me bianches being put up in paperbark 
canoes as satis. Tim Rakuwurlma should be .given 
the final say on the disadvantages of paperbark 
canoes with this dramatic comment: 

When •.omctbing hire him, shark, well he been 
ilmwn, eveiyhody been drown long middle waier ■ . , 
sometime bjlftd &barK . . . bite him make a hole . . . 
when you go early fella morning, jm.i along sea now; 

shark come along you, bite him that canoe, knock 
turn down, early fella morning he'll bite anything 

Introduction or dugout canoes 

Spencer & Cillen record both dugoui and 
messmate canoes in use in the Borroloola area in 
1901 Aboriginal and historical records right 80TO$$ 
the Top lind'of the Northern Territory suggest that 
production of dugouts did not commence until after 
the Macassans stopped corning and supplying them. 
Warner (1969: 45«) and Thomson (1937) both quote 
informants who say dugout canoes were not made 
until the Macassans stopped bringing them. Thom- 
son (1952: 3) makes the same point but in more 
general terms and does not mention the informant. 
Warner goes on to suggest that in the area where 
he was working (north-eastern Arnhem Land), 
people reverted to using paperbark canoes for a 
while until they learned how to construct dugouts 
from Aboriginal people from (he English Company 
Islands. Worstey (1954: 61-62) from his work on 
Groote Eylandt, also concludes that dugout canoes 
were obtained from the Macassans and not made 
until after ihev stopped their visits to northern 
Australia Heath (1980: 532) presents a Nung- 
gubuyu text (from the Roper River area) thai dc 
scribes how bark canoes were used first and that 
the dugouts were introduced later as a result of 
Maeassan contact. 

Tim Rakuwurlrna's account given to me in 1983 
supports this suggestion; 

My father, messmate [canoe], him been have lint 

time. By and by, he been think about w*, him beer. 

tind big tree there, Leichhardt tree, along island alpnfc 

him ixtmiUv 

1 think III cut him* 

1 been big boy, I rj&vtr had corronorree along tin 

yei (he had nut been through circumcision initiation 

ceremouvj Thai big I been [indicated about lOyears 

old] and old Banjo Ihis older brother] was there. 

'I think I wanl ku'ut him canoe along you two 1'clla, 

we gui to make him canoe litutlibfT. Hitn been lalf. 

'We've pot to make him libaliba', 

'Go on'. 

'Yeah I been look that mob from Groote Dyteniat. 

Iiu-ura mob been learn me'. 

Qtq !elki been leatn him my lather long Groote 

Eylandt people. bluUlella \yi,en tr-em been come 

atony thai big bo41 Maluy'"' men, coloured men. mob been learn him. him cm [the dugoui 

caiu>e| himself , . . long tomahawk. 

The first Yanyuwa-made dugout canoe was 
constructed well inland and as Tim describes, ~wc 
all been pull him down ... all the way [to the 
COasl]* In 1987 Tim told me Lhis M.ory again and 
alter noting that the early cjnoes were made from 
a Leichhardt Pine, says lea-tree {Melaleuca sp.) thai 



one behind [after], we been cut thai kind when my 
father been finished . . - when no more Leichhardt 
tree there long island, my father been finish them 
up. We been go along McArthur River higher up'. 
Using Tim's mention of his age in the above 
quote, this first Yanvuwa-rnade dugout can be dated 
to about 1910. This corresponds with ibe 
information presenred by Warner and Thomson 
that canoes were not constructed until after the 
Macassans stopped coming. The last voyage made 
by the Maeassans ro Australia was in 1906-1907 
(Mackrught 1976: 126). Further support for this 
[lOst-Macassan commencement of canoe 
construction comes from Stretton's 1189?) 
comments on how Aboriginal people on Vanck-rlin 
Island obtained their canoes. Writing in the decade 
before the Macassan visits stopped he notes that 
'I he Vandcrlin tribe arc expert canoeists, and are 
possessed of some very fine canoes made out of 
solid trees, which have been left behind by the 
Malays' (Stretton 1893; 228), He makes no mention 
of the Yanyuwa building their own dugout canoes. 

The rise and decline of Yanyuwa canoe making 

Yanyuwa canoe making probably reached a peak 
in the 1930s and 1940s when, with ready access to 
European metal tools, a large number were made. 
Several of the European residents in Borroloola 
commissioned canoes and these were sometimes 
used ro transport stores up the McArthur River The 
canoes carried the supplies upstream from the 
lauding some 30 km downstream where the coastal 
supply boat unloaded the cargo. The vital part these 
Europeans provided in the construction of ibe 
canoes was the supply, as payment, of preservable 
food such as flour. As Tim Rakuwurlma observes, 
canoes took a long time to make and the canoe 
makers were dependent on others to provide them 
with food during the period they were working full 
time; Might be three weeks . . , long time no tucker 
. | but this time big mob of tucker flour', Tim goes 
on to note how he made canoes with food being 
provided by a European called Havey and compares 
this food source with that his father lived on when 
he made canoes. 'Charlie Havey alia [always] send 
tucker for me . . . get a bag of Hour all the way . . . 
my father been cut a canoe and he been bad 
munja 13 . , . cooked by my mother 1 , 

It was not only Europeans who commissioned 
canoes, Aboriginal people also eommissioneU 
canoes from a number of expert canoe makers. The 
terms of this trade included supplying the maker 
with food during the construction phase and then 
giving a proportion of food caught from the canoe 
for sometime afterwards. Steve Johnson describes 
Mac Riley making canoes 'for trade' and says he 
got hall the catch for the first six months of the 

canoe's life as part payment, Tim Rakuwurlma also 
describes how Mac made him a canoe and sent it 
down from Mara country (to the north-west) to him 
and how he kepi the Mara name given to this canoe; 
*l been buy nun long blanket . , . him been make 
him long his country . . , TJayilmalkulma* , . that 
mob Mara [named it] ... I been keep name they 
been call him that way'- Mac is also mentioned in 
the Welfare Department files (Australian Archives 
1952} as having made (with others) five canoes in 

Tim Rakuwurlma who supplied me with much 
of my information on Yanyuwa canoes, was a par- 
ticularly renowned canoe maker. As Ted Egan re- 

OK' Tim was always working on a canoe - i . Meat 
it down . . . half make it and either carry it or final 
h to a beach and finish il there . . he was referred 
io as much by the term the ( canu* man* as tild 

Tim'.' 4 

Egan also recalls how a European boar would 
sometimes tow dugout canoes: They had about ten 
lu noes when i was there. Jack Bailey had a 
wonderful old chug chug boat and lack would often 
pull a string of canoes up the river'. 

The South Australian film maker, Roy Vysc, 
visited Borroloola in July 1954 and describes 15 how 
'hunting is done from dugout canoes of which them 
are a large number*. A missionary based in Borro- 
loola describe* how in 1958 *a party of sixteen had 
left* Borroloola to pick up 'about eleven canoes' that 
had been made at one location that year (Mam 
1958: 15). Kettle (1967; 95) reports seeing 14 dugout 
canoes at Borroloola in 1955. An interesting burst 
of canoe making occurred in I96J when the Yan- 
yuwa were moved by the Welfare Branch to Dan- 
gana on the Robinson River. 16 Musso Harvey 
recalls how six canoes were made in the seven or 
eight months people lived there and how "we all 
(camcj sailing back* to Borroloola. 

Yanyuwa people also made canoes when they 
were away from Borroloola working on cattle sta- 
tions. Some stations provided ready access to suit- 
able large trees. The residential quarters on many 
statfoOS in {he region are located on springs that 
are lined with tall trees. Hence there was ihe 
opportunity to work on canoes during slack periods 
of the cattle work- As Jean Kirton 17 recalls, ihe 
Yanyuwa would often come back from the cattle 
stations on trucks with new canoes: 

When they came back there, maybe two or three 
canoe*, would come bach an the back:* of the tfurU 
. , . there were all kind ot iood things- SBQCteiecl with 
the coming ot the WtA sci^on, all the relatives coming 
back and new canoes coming hack with them. 



Canoe construction began to decrease in the party 
1960s as the Yanyuwa began lo have (be cash to buy 
Huropean aluminium dinghies. The last canoe built 
by the Yanyuwa for (.heir own use was made by *0(d 
DhuhV in 1977 at Ryan's Bend. This particular 
canoe was commissioned by Tim Rakuwurlma and 
stayed in use until 1981. Ar the end of one days 
work on ,, Rra-Kalwanvitna!a , Annie Karrakayn 
remarked how all the old canoe makers "been die 
now" and that tw younger canoe makers had 
replaced them 'because they had the dinghy now. 
while Telia dinghy'. 

Use of dugout canoes 

ll is possible to document long voyages made by 
the ttinyuwa in dugoui canoes. Pyro DirdivaJma 
described how a relative used to travel all the way 
10 Bui kciown in a dugout canoe (a distance of over 
400 km each way) looking for tobacco 1 . Don 
McLean told mc of a round trip of over 500 km 
he made in a dugout canoe with three Yanyuwa men 
in 1943 to and from Crootc Oylandt. People also 
travelled from Borroloola to Numbulwar (250 km 
to the norih-wi'si ), in dugoui canoes to attend cere- 
monies. As Steve Johnson recalls, whenever possible 
such trips would have involved sailing and not 

l hey sailed them when ihe wind was favourable, they 
never paddled because they wanted to. Most of ihcm 
watted for the wind to come the way before they 
even start. Probably sit (here for a week wailing tor 
favourable weather . . . unless ihey were in a hurry 
there is no way ihey'd paddle against it. But if they 
were mil there and got caughl, some of them old 
fellas eou'd paddle lor days wiifcout getting off that 

As well as being a means ot transport, dugout 
canoes played an important rote in the Yanyuwa 
economy. This Mas particularly the case with turtle 
and dugong hunting. It should be noted, however, 
that older Yanyuwa individuals are adamant that 
people did hunt dugong ant! turtle from bark 
canoes in ihc "old days'. As Tim Kakuwurlrna notes: 
'They been make him messmate tree, bark (canoe J 
... big mob dugong killer, black fella, right up long 
Wunubarryi [100 km north-west of Borro!oola|\ It 
is conceded however that the dugout is far superior 
for hunting due to its greater si/.e and stability. 
Indeed the dugout Is in many ways superior to the 
aluminium dinghies, powered by outboard engines 
used today. As Mick Pollard recalls, Tyson 
Walayungkurua told him how dugout canoes were 
supenor for dugong hunting as in *thern aluminium 
boat, you go out and yotit toenail touch that floor, 
them dugong go lor one mile'. Dugong are 

renowned for their acute hearing. In a canoe .1 
hunter could silently gJide over herds of turtles and 
dugongs and literally take his pick. Today, however, 
hunting in aluminium boats involves a hair raising 
high speed chase as the hunters attempt to outrun 
the turtle and dugong. The canoes also obviously 
have the advantage of not requiring fuel. Today it 
is quite a logistic effort to carry enough fuel to make 
the long trip down the McArthur Rivet, go hunting 
and still have enough fuel 10 return to Botroloola. 
Another disadvantage of outboard powered 
dinghies is the lact that the occupants usually gel 
covered with spray when travel ting, in them. 

The following Yanyuwa terms are given for the 
crew of a dugout canoe. The person behind, sitting 
on the duladala (Fig. 3) was called ramangka 
ngulakuri, the person in the front ol (he canoe was 
called ngurrungii and the person in the middle was 
called a-kuyila wumbiji However, when hunting 
dugong and turtle in the past in dugout canoes or 
today in aluminium dinghies, different names are 
used for the person al the front and at Ihe back of 
the canoe. The dugong hunter in the front armed 
with the harpoon and looking for dugong is known 
as maranja. This person indicates with hand signals 
which way the wungkayi (who is silting behind) 
should paddle. 

Dugong hunters took great care ot their hunting 
equipment, When on hunting trips, ropes were care- 
fully coiled so they would not get tangled and the 
harpoon was mounted on the side of the canoe with 
nails holding it in place. The harpoon was placed 
on the right-hand side of the canoe for right-handed 
hunters and on the left side tor left-handed hunters. 
Dugongs and turtles were often hunted at night, 
with the hunter following the phosphorescent trails 
left in the wake of Ihe animals, Such night rime 
hunting trips could be quite long and young child- 
ren were often taken out and bedded down for ;> 
night's sleep in the canoe. On cold dry season nights 
another advantage of dugout canoes was that a fire 
could be lil in the canoe. As Steve Johnson told me 

They used to have a tire going (here fonj a big flat 
rock 01 sheet of iron and a bii of mud on it clay, 
have a tire going there all day. T'hey'J he paddlim; 
down the nverand you'd see smoke in (he boat . . . 
they- used to even cook a feed, cook a fish or some- 
thing like that ... if they went our for a long trip 
. . they'd take a bit of extra wood with them, ihey'c 
anchor all day out (here wailing for the dugong to 
come back in from ihe deeper water, If they had some 
fish they'd cook that up, ihey lived like kings uiH 
there . . . hoit the billy . . they'd cook a few crabs. 

II was the job of the person in ihe middle pT the 
canoe, thea-kuyila wumhiji, to keep the fire burn- 
ing. These fires served the dual functions of cooking 
and keeping people warm. Isaac Walayungkuma 



gives another description of these fires: 'Big canoe, 
you can put dugong and swag, put flat stone, make 
a fire there too*. Another good description of these 
fires is given by Ricket Murnudu in which he makes 
the point that when paddling the canoe the person 
behind was kept warm by the smoke drifting back; 
Telia in front he cold, but this one behind lis warm] 
because he keep smoking long him behind when he 

However, as Tim Rakuwurlma recalls, the results 
of not putting a fire out properly were serious. He 
describes how once, when he lent his canoe to his 

Him been go out night time hunting and he been 
come back and been leave that boat there, he been 
wet that fire long salt water, wet him . . . but lhat 
fire been alight, canoe been burn him , . . (next 
morning] Banjo been come out. 'Ah thai boat been 
drown here ... oh I been burn [it] long fire 1 . 

Tim goes on to describe how a European resident 
of the area 'been fix that boat now, got copper tack, 
copper nail and iron 1 . 

As well as being used fot hunting and carrying 
dugong and turtle, dugout canoes were also very 
useful for carrying loads of people, possessions and 
food. Annie Karrakayn notes for example how 
people used to Till him up libaliha . . . right up 1 with 
shell fish gathered from mudflats. Canoes were also 
filled up with sea bird chicks, gathered by shaking 
mangrove trees during the wet season. Sometimes 
these birds were also cooked on fires in the canoe. 
I .arge quantities of cycad fruit were also carried in 
canoes from where they grew to places where there 
was plenty of water to leach the toxic substances 
out of the cycad. Annie Karrakayn, for example, 
describes how people used to go to Manangoora 
where there are dense stands of cycads (Cycas 
anguluta) and 'fill up canoe . , . and take him to 
. . . spring country, . . . soak it there now for eat*. 

Canoes were also used to carry dogs. The last 
couple to travel regularly around in canoes, for a 
long time had one canoe each so that all their dogs 
could fit in. In the 1950s and 1960s when a large 
number of Yanyuwa people had moved in to Borro- 
loola, dugout canoes were often used to carry fire- 

RGURE 5. Forty-four gallon drums being carried by canoes. Photograph Steve Johnson, circa 1955, 



wood back to their camp. They were also used to 
carry strips of paperbark that were collected from 
trees along the river to roof the shelters people built 
for themselves in Borroloola 

It is no! surprising considering the time people 
spent in canoes that at least one Yanyuwa person 
was actually born in one. Also a number of other 
births were apparently brought on when heavily 
pregnant women were paddling canoes and just 
managed 10 make landfall before giving birth- 
Early government officials such as Patrol Officers 
also made use of dugout canoes to travel -around 
(he Borroloola aiea, as they were the only possible 
form of transport for much of the wet season. The 
long time regional head of the Welfare Branch, Lcs 
Pcnhall, described how 'We bought two dugouts off 
one of the Aborigines out there so we could have 
transport available'. As well as bein^; used for carry- 
ing supplies (Fig. 5| up the river from the deep water 
jetty downstream, canoes were used by the Welfare 
Department to get good timber to Borroloola. 
Annie KarraVayn, for instance, recalls how people 
used to jyei pine trees [CallUHs tmrutropica) 
downstream along, the MeArthur River and brought 
them back to Borroloola with that canoe, pulling 
behind like a trailer'. 

A nirmber of Luropcan crocodile shooters in the 
area also used dugouts, for, as when hunting 
dugong, the crocodile hunter could silently glide on 
lop of the prey Considerable use of dugout canoes 
was also made by the army unit that was based on 
the Sir hdwatd Pcllew Group during World War LI. 
Don McLean describes how canoes vvetc used to 
carry supplies and personnel, tp patrol for mines, 
to can y Messages and to locarc an American airman 
who once oash landed in the area. 

Canoe size 

Spencer^ diary contains a good indication of how 
large were the canoes which the Yanyuwa obtained 
from the Macassans. He notes that; 

A- big chihic ha& oonw up the river from the coast 
"viihuhout 20 iwiivcs m ii ti i> quite untike the bark 
canoe and is simply a great log hollowed out and 
shaped into a buai. It is guile 30 feet lonj; , . This 
patuctllai boat was made by the Malays who come 
all down die cohm every year in iheii Planus in uuesl 
of loitorsc hic| shell (;»nd| heche uY inc r which they 
barter for with the blacks (Spencer 1901: 110). 

The largest canoe made in living memory was 
measured by Steve Johnson to be 21 feet (8,23 m) 
long and was called the 'Butterfly". The Yanyuwa 
i classify canoe size in terms or how many lar«e salt 
warcr turtles ihey would hold, die "Butterfly* being 
a 'four turtle canoe \ Tim Rakuwurlma also com- 

ments on a 'four turtle canoe' and goes on to say 
that it could also carry four 44 gallon drums, 
"Sonny' Raggan, the former manager of a station 
for which supplies were brought up the river in 
canoes, recalls one canoe that carried five 44 gallon 
drums or forty 50 lb bags of flour 

Annie Karrakayn in rhc conversation quoted 
above on how al! the kids used to 'stick in that 
canoe\ notes that the canoe also carried 'big mob 
of load* which included swags, billy cans and 44 
gallon drums. Another mention ot the capacity of 
dugout canoes is in Griffin a (1941. 32) description 
of a visit to Borroloola. She records a canoe pad- 
dled by Tim Rakuwurbna's brother Banjo carrying 
liis lubra, and her sister, two piccaninnies', two dogs, 
one puppy, two guluhs, and coolamons o\ lily seed*. 
roots and wild raspberries, not to mention billies 
and pannikins'. 

Canoe life-span 

Most dugout canoes appear to have tasted less 
than three years. Thomson (1934: 244) discusses ihc 
short life-span of canoes al Stewarl River, Cape 
York, and comments on one lasting only seven to 
eigjtl months. The fact that one canoe lasted live 
years before it sank is noted as beins unusual by 
Johnson Babaramila Timothy: 'Him sunk down . . . 
might have been too old. One boat from Roper, we 
had it for long time, Tor about, might have been 
more than five years'. The oldest canoe described 
to me was the last one owned by IVsOJD 
Walayuugkuma, This canoe, according to Steve 
Johnson, was a 'good ten years old' when it was 
finally too rotten to patch up any more. 

The spreading of canoes, described above, makes 
canoes particularly susceptible to cracking. A^ well, 
boring water worms tended to eat through the 
canoes. Canoes were constantly patched, using the 
reddish bark of ma-wunjwrrwunjurr {Terminali.* 
curpenlurtue), a tree ihai grows on the Sir Edward 
PeUew Islands. As Steve Johnson notes. They used 
to use i hat, scrape rhe bark off . . . and they'd 
pound it up into a putty and then use that to shut 
the cracks'. When available, however, iron and tack* 
were considered preferable, As Steve goes on to note, 
ma-wunjurrwunjiirr bark was only used if they 
were out bush and didn't haft that gear (metal) , . . 
they even used vnud, that hard clay for repairs* 
Canoes were often removed from the water and 
rolled over to dry in I he sun in attempts to kill the 
borers. Also, canoes were painted with a red ochre 
to protect them from worms. When available, tar* 
pitch and various boating oils were used as they were 
more effective. 

lean Kirton gives a good summary of Ihe piob 
lerns people had maintaining their canoes and illus- 



iraics why aluminium dinghies were so readily 
adopted in preference to dugouts: 

There wore two kinds of borer that got into them, 
a freshwater one and a saltwater one and most of 
them only lasted two years. They would patch them 
and they would leak a lot. It got tolhe stage where 
they would leak so much they would be under water, 
[il] gets a bit discouraging bailing something when 
the entire thing is under water every time you want 
to use it. So [atj that point it got relegated to being 
drowned. When you could get an aluminium dinghy 
thai borer did nothing to it. 


The Yanyuwa history of canoe making is a good 
example of Aboriginal culture's quick response to 
change. Canoes were readily adopled by (he Yan- 
yuwa as they were a better version of something they 
already had. As such they represent cultural change 
very much on Yanyuwa terms. Use of dugout canoes 
allowed the Yanyuwa to exploit then environment 
in new ways. Resources such as bird and turite eggs 
on isolated islands could be obtained and previous 
activities such as turtle and dugong hunting would 
have been both safer and more productive. 

Methods of construction and repair of dugout 
canoes changed according to supply of natural 

resources, and to the provision of European tools 
and food sources. The move to use aluminium boats 
instead of dugouts occurred for the same reasons 
that dugouts were originally adopied. The new item 
had great advantages. 

In the case of adoption of aluminium boats bow- 
ever, as has been the case for many aspects o^' 
European culture adopted by Aboriginal people, 
there have been unforeseen ramifications. The 
decline in canoe making has been but one part of 
an overall pattern of greater dependency on Euro- 
pean resources and services that has led to a great 
reduction in Yanyuwa independence overall. The 
decision to adopt European dinghies occurred in 
the late 1960s when, with the granting of equal 
wages on cattle stations, there was plenty of cash 
about to buy dinghies. However, the prosperity of 
this time was short-lived. Massive lay-offs of Abor- 
iginal people in the cattle industry in the 1970s have 
resulted in very few Yanyuwa people currently being 
employed, Today, there is little money to buy ding- 
hies or oul board motors and often not enough 
mechanical 'know how' to keep those motors going. 

Hence Tim Rakuwurlma (Fig. 6) w ho spent much 
of the first two-thirds of his 90 years travelling in 
dugout canoes around his island country, can now 
lament '1 want to go island, sit down long island, 
but no boat too much ... 1 got no boat too much, 
I want to sit down long my country'. 

HGURF 6. Tim Rakuwurlma and his canoe, July 1954. Irom the Les Penhall Collection, Northern Territory Stale 
Reference library. Reproduced with Pctihall's permission. 




I wish lo thank all the Vhnyuwa people who shared with 
mm [heir knowledge of canoes. 1 am also most grateful 
to all the non-Aboriginal people with experience in the 
H<Mii>lttul,< area who helped me with thcii memories of 
Yanyuwa canoe use. I thank the Australian National 
Maritime Museum foi giving permission to publish here 
sections of a report I prepared lor lliern. Research in the 
Borroloola area has also been supported by the Australian 
Instituie of Aboriginal Studies, the University of Adel- 
aide, (he Northern Australian Research Unit of the 
Australian National University and Ihc Royal Geographic 
Society o( Australasia (South Australian Branch). In 
addition. I wish to thank Chris Anderson, Michael 
Bardsley, Fay Gale, Philip Jones, and Beth Slatyer for 
useful comments Oil earlier drafts of this paper 1 am also 
particularly indebted to John Bradley for all his logistic 
mid linguistic assistance. 


1, AH the conversations quoted ate from recorded inter- 
views, now lodged with the Australian Institute ot Abor- 
iginal Studies hi Canberra. A copy of this paper footnoted 
with details of lape number lor each quote and the place 
on the tape where the conversation occurs is lodged with 
the A.I.A.S. Most quotes are from Aboriginal people from 
the Bortoloola area. Where the quotes are not from Abor- 
iginal people, 1 give in an endnote, background 
information on how the individual concerned came to be 
in the area. A detailed set oi' photographs documenting 
the .onstruction is also lodged at the A.I.A.S., as arc a 
number o\' historic collections of photographs which I have 
located relating to the area and which include photographs 
of canoes. 

2. She is referring hoe (o Tim Rakuwurlma, an old Yan- 
yuwa man who ha* supplied me with much of mv infor- 
mation on Yanyuwa watereraft, Tim was born some time 
late last ccntuty. 

.V This is an \boriginyl fnglish term for helping 

7. ( he photographic recording Of the canoe construction 
ilhisi rales each stage of production it went through. The 
copy of this article lodged with The A. I. AS. includes .. 
daily record that details each photograph taken. 

K_ All tools used were purchased metal ones. In the 
recent past most work was done with similar tools. Don 
Mcljeai), however, recalls seeing \\cdgcs made out of stone 
and ihey were on a long handle , . . like an adze 1 and 
describes them being used in the same way I observed large 
steel adzes being used. 

!>. Sieve Johnson has lived all his life on Vanderlin 
Island. His father was a European tiepatiger who lived 
most of his life there with Steve's mother, a Yanyuwa 
woman. Steve has a detailed knowledge of canoes from 
l he use Aboriginal people made of them around his home, 
Vanderlin Island. 

10. Spencer & Gillen collected one such canoe which 
is now held by the National Museum of Victoria. The 
South Australian Museum also holds a canoe collected 
from Borroloola around the turn ol" the cenlury and Iloi 
nell (1940) also gives a detailed description of another hart 
canoe made in the Borroloola teuton, held by lite Aust- 
ralian Museum in Sydney. 

11. As noted above, Isaac Walayuugkuma is a GkraWfl 
speaker and hence uses this Garjiwa term and not the 
Yanyuwa term \a-wulka. Trigger (I9H7: 80) mentions 
Clarawa watereraft and notes the Garawa use ot this term 
foi bark canoes. 

12. 'Malay' was the incorrect term Europeans applied 
foi a long lime to the Macassan trepangers. Tun would 
have lea i nod this from Europeans and not from the 
Macassans themselves. The Grootc bylandt Aboriginal 
people Tim mentions came down on the Macassan boats. 

II, A term for the cycad that grows m abundance in 
(he urea, ll is processed to leach out toxic .substances and 
is I hen prepared into preservable dampers. 

14. tlgan was the relieving Welfare Officer at Borroloola 
for a number of brief periods in the t l CTt>; 

4. Macassans aic fishermen who came to northern Aust- 
ralia Iron) the pot t of Macassar in the Celebes (now known 
as Ujimg Pnndang and Sulawesi respectively} piior io 
European settlement of AuMrolia. I heir visits stopped in 
(907 as a result oi South Ausrialiau Govvrnriicni legis- 
lation. They came to collect, amongst other things. Kc- 
pauL'. (See Macknighl I969, \91Z and I976 for further 

5. 'SugJi bug' is an Aboriginal f-nglish term for Ihe 
native bee nests that contain wax and honey. 

6. A l-uropean soldier based on the Sir Ifdwaid Pellew 
Group dining part of World War II 

15. This quote comes from S.A. Museum Archives Ace 
No. 1676, which is a notebook of his ttip. Vyse made u 
film oi his trip (also held by South Australian Museum) 
which includes a shot of Tim Kakuwiulma paddling fi 
canoe across die McAriluu River. The photograph in lag 
6 was also taken at this i tine. 

16. The Northern Territory Welfare Branch Annual 
Report 1960/61- 76 documents the move of 133 Aboriginal 
people previously resident ai Borroloola. 

17. Jean Kirion has worked as a linguist at Rorroloola 
since 1963. 




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fnsf 64: 217-235. 
THOMSON, D.I 1 . 1934b. The dugong hunters of Cape 

York. J, R. Anthrop. Inst. 64: 237-262. 
THOMSON, D.F. 1937. Thomson Collection File No. 94. 

National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, entry For 

THOMSON, D.F. 1939. The tree dwellers of the Arafura 

swamps: a new type of bark canoe from central Anihcm 

Land. Man 39: 121-126. 
THOMSON, D.F 1949a. Anthem Laud: exploration 

among an unknown people. Geo*. J. 114 (3): 53-67. 
THOMSON, D.F. 1949b. 'Economic Structure and the 

Ceremonial Exchange Cycle in Arnhem Land'. 

MacMillan, Melbourne. 
THOMSON, OA. 1952. Notes on some primitive waler- 

crafl in Northern Australia. Man 52: 1-5. 
THOMSON, D.E. 1957. Some watercraltof the Australian 

Aborigines. Walkabout. June: 19-20. 
TRIGGER, D.S. 1987. Inland, coast and island: traditional 

Aboriginal society and material culture in a region of 

the southern Gulf of Carpentaria. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 

21 (2): 69-84. 
WARNER, W.l 1969. 'A Black Civilization: a Soeial 

Study of an Australian Tribe'. Harper and Brothers, 

New York. [Reprint or 1937 edilion,] 
WORSLEY, P.M. 1954. The Changing Social Structure 

of the Wanindiljaugwa'. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, 

Ausiralian National University, Canberra. 




The dynamic partnership : birds and plants in southern Australia edited by Hugh Ford & David 
Paton. The Flora and Fauna of South Australia Handbooks Committee, Adelaide, 1986. 199 pp., 8 
colour plates, 23 figures, 38 tables. Paperbound, $A19.50. 


The Dynamic Partnership: Birds and Plants in 
Southern Australia edited by Hugh Ford & David 
Paton. The Flora and Fauna of South Australia 
Handbooks C'ornminee, Adelaide, 1986. 199 pp., 8 
colour plates, 23 figures, 38 tables. Paperbound, 

The editors, Hugh ford (University of New Eng- 
land) and David Paton (University of Adelaide), 
themselves contributors to ihc book, are to be com- 
mended for bringing together much of the current 
understanding of bird-plant relationships lo south- 
ern Australia — as yet a relatively little studied field. 
The resulting publication is the first broadly-based 
treatise on this subject lot Australia. The title 
suggests that the book pertains lo southern regions 
of Australia only, but in tact many at the hypotheses 
and conclusions put forward may be applicable ro 
most of the continent. 

The book is divided into sixteen chapters, and 
each discusses a particular aspect of bird-plant in- 
teractions, Some are specific, such as the pollination 
and seed dispersal of mistletoes (by N. Reid), and 
others are more generalised, such as lifestyles and 
food resources of birds in inland environments (by 
K.S. Shurcliff), Some authors largely restricr iheir 
discussions lo an analysis of the available data, for 
example PA. Paton in tier chapter on the use of 
aquaiic plants by birds jn the Coorong, South 
Australia Others are more speculative, for example 
D.C. Paton in his chapter on the evolution of bird 
pollination in Australia. Inevitably with such a di- 
versity of topics, the book is essentially a collection 
of papers. However, the editors have grouped those 
with simitar themes, except for some that fall into 
no particular category, and there is some cross- 
referencing between chapters. This, together with 
the provision of iniroductory and concluding 
chapters, gives a degree of continuity throughout. 
Despite the diversity o\' material discussed, there are 
still several aspects of bird-plant interactions let! 
unexplored, such as the use of plants for nest sites 
and nesting materials. But as is suggested in the 
introductory chapter, some subjects are beyond the 
scope ol the book; these may well serve as the basis 
for future publications. 

Most of the book deals with endemic plant and 
bird eommuniiies, but two chapters examine the 
adaptations to and utilisation of exotic habitats by 
birds. In comparison with adjacent areas o\' native 

habitat. These arc studies in suburban gardens (by 
RJ. Green) and pine forests (by B,C Clepp) 1 found 
A.V. Milewski's chapter, also comparing bird 
communities in different habitats, particularly 
interesting. In this case they are both endemic 
habitats — southern Australia and southern Africa. 
Despite the presence of many planl and bird 
families ihui are the same in both regions, Milew&ki 
points out some distinct differences, which he 
attributes to climatic and soil differences between 
the continents, Thus in southern Africa there is a 
diversity of birds that consume fleshy fruits and of 
plants that produce them, while in southern 
Australia there is a diversity of honcyeatcrs and 
nee tar- producing plants. 

Much of the book examines bird-plant inlet 
actions from the point of view of the use of or 
dependence on planl species by particular birds, or 
of the muiualtsdc relationship between the two 
groups. Chapter 15 (by H.A. Ford) on birds and 
euealypt dieback, however, is taken from the point 
of view of plants* dependence on birds not just for 
enhanced dispersal of pollen and seed but more 
directly for I heir health and survival. This and 
several other chapters also address the question of 
the future for bird and plant communities in 
Australia-, and suggest management stiategies for 
their conservation. 

Perhaps the overriding impression gained from 
the book is that in attempting ro answer many 
questions about bird-plant relationships, it raises 
many more, as would be expected in such a youthful 
field of research. The reader is provided with a kal- 
eidoscope of bird-plant interactions yet to be inves- 
tigated, and ts given many suggestions as to the 
directions that future research may take. 

The literary style adopted by most of the thirteen 
authors is somewhat more expansive and descriptive 
than would appear in a scientific journal, and the 
book is liberally illustrated with tables, figures and 
colour plates, so it should be an informative text 
for amateur ornithologists, botanists and eeologists 
as well as lot the scientific community. The book 
lias been well-produced, the layout is good, and the 
printing excellent; a minor criticism is that many 
of the chapter sub-headings are larger and boldei 
ihan is aesthetically necessary. It is priced reason- 
ably, and is a creditable addition to the series of 
Handbooks of the Flora and Fauna of South Aust- 
ralia. I recommend it lo anyone interested in ecology 
and conservation. 

K HOKION, South Australian Mutcuni, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Rev 
22(2): m, 1988 

S. Aa\L Itftffc 


byS. 7. Hemming 


The South Australian Museum has for several years been developing an exhibition depicting 
aspects of the Aboriginal culture of the Lower Murray region of South Australia. Central to the 
religious beliefs of the people in this region was the Dreaming ancestor Ngurunderi and the story of 
the creation of the Murray River and many other geographical features in the Lower Murray and 
Coorong areas. The exhibition incorporates as a central theme the Dreaming of Ngurunderi. As an 
introduction to the exhibition, the South Australian Museum, in association with the South 
Australian Film Corporation, Pepper Studios and the Ngarrindjeri Community have produced a 
short film entitled 'Ngurunderi: A Ngarrindjeri Dreaming'. After several years of planning it was 
finally completed in 1987 and was launched early in 1988. The film won a silver award in the 
education/social studies category at the New York World Film and Television Festival. It also won 
a gold award for camera work from the Australian Society of Cinematographers. Since the launch it 
has been screened continuously in the introductory area to the planned exhibition. This was the 
Museum's intended function for the film, with the possibility of its use by the South Australian 
Education Department. The South Australian Film Corporation, which holds the copyright of the 
film, are trying to market it as widely as possible and copies are presently available from the Film 
Corporation or through the South Australian Museum shop. 


I lie South Australian Museum has lot several 
year* been developing an exhibition depicting 
aspects of ihe Aboriginal culture of the Lower 
Murray region of South Australia. Central to the 
religious beliefs oi the people in this region was ihe 
Dreaming ancestor Ngurunderi and the story of the 
creation oi the Murray River and many other geo- 
graphical features in the Lower Murray and Coor- 
ong areas. The exhibition incorporates as a central 
iheine the Dreaming of Ngurunderi. As an intro- 
duction to the exhibition, the South Australian 
Museum, in association with the South Australian 
Film Corporation, Pepper Studios and the Ngair- 
indjeri Community have produced a shon film 
entitled 'Ngurunderi: A Ngarrindjeri Dreaming'. 
After several years of planning it Was finally com- 
pleted in 1987 and was launched early in 1988, The 
film won a silver award in the educationAoeial 
studies category at the New York World Film and 
Television Festival. It also won a gold award lor 
camera work from the Australian Society of 
Cinematugraphers. Since the launch it has been 
screened continuously in the introductory area to 
(he planned exhibition. This was the Museum's 
intended function for the film, with perhaps ihe 
possibility of its use by the South Australian 
Education Department. The South Australian Finn 
Corporation, which holds the copyright of the film, 
are trying 10 market it as widely as possible and 
Copies are presently available from the Film Corpor- 
ation or through the South Australian Museum 

A number of accounts of the Ngurunderi Dream- 
ing were recorded by anthropologists, missionaries 
and other non-Aboriginal commentators including 
Cawthorne, Taphn, Meyer, Smith. Berndt, and Tin- 
dale. Most relate only to a small segment of the 
Dreaming, usually focusing upon Ngurundcriv ex- 
ploits in one particular area. Professor Ronald 
RVrndt's version (194ft) is the most detailed pub- 
lished account and U is upon this that the Museum's 
film is mainly based. Or Norrnan Tipdale, the other 
anthropologist to have worked extensively in the 
area, also collected lengthy accounts, but these are 
yet to be tulJy published, His one brief published 
...count tTindalc & Pretty 1978) differs in certain 
details from that of Bcrndr. Boih these anthro- 
pulogms worked with Aboriginal people from dif- 
n-n-nt groups in the region; Berndt's main source 
qtf information was Albert Karloan, an iniiiared 
man of the Yaraldc people; Tindalc's primary source 
was Clarence Long, an iniiiated man from Ihe 
Tangane people. This may be the reason for the 
variation in the two accounts. T he people in each 
Ngai rindjeri group would have known in most 

detail the section of the Ncurunderi Dreaming thai 
related to their own region. This phenomenon still 
exists today and those in (he Ngarrindjeri com 
munity who have heard about Ngurunderi from the 
old people usually know something of ihe section 
which relates to the areas associated wirh their 


In several of the published accounts, Ngurun- 
deri 's epic journey appears to have started in the 
Darling Junction area of the River Murray and con- 
tinued down the Murray to the Lakes. Some Ngar 
rindjeri people today see thus as providing evidence 
that Ngarrindjeri territory, before the arrival of the 
Europeans, .stanched as far as the Darling region. 
In Berndt's version, Ngurunderi chases the giant 
cod, ponde, into Lake Atexandrioa and with the 
help of his brother-in-law Nepele, the cod is speared 
and cut into many pieces. He changes each pica 
into one of the present-day species of frcshwaki 
fish inhabiting the area. George Trevor row, a Ngar 
rindjeri man with a Coorong background, knows 
another version of this part of the Dreaming He 
describes a different location for the culling up of 
the cod and includes the creation of saltwater fish 
such as the mulloway, A combination of this and 
Berndt's version is used tor this incident in the film. 
Henry Rankine, another Ngarrindjeri man who 
provided details not available in the Bcrndt version 
of the Dreaming, has a connection tluough his 
tathet with the Lower Murray area and the northern 
shores of Lake Alexandrite He supplied some 
detail about Ngurunderi 's use of smoke signals and 
this was also included in the film. 

According to Bcrndt k s account, Ngurunderi's 
journey continued from the Lakes area, down the 
Coorong to Kingston. During this part of the 
Dreaming, his runaway wives become a central 
feature of the events. At Kingston, Ngurunderi 
fought with an evil sorcerer called Parampari. He 
killed Parampari and burnt his body, which 
changed into the Granites near Kingston, Ngurun- 
deri then pursued his wives back rowards ihe 
Murray mouth, crossed ii and travelled around 
F.ncounter Bay, Along this coast he created many 
of Ihe islands, including Granite Island. I have nor 
spoken with any Ngarrindjeri people who know 
details of the ftneouriter Bay section of the 
Ngurunderi Dreaming. This is to be expected, gtvcn 
the rapid occupation of this area; by the British and 
the inipiur thai this had on the culture of rhe local 
Ngarrindjeri group, ihe Ramindjeri. Ngurundrri 
caught up with his wjve.s, who had broken several 
Ngarrindjeri laws and drowned them by flooding 
the land between the mainland and Kangaroo Island 
— their bodies became The Pages'. He crossed 



Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island where he 
entered the spirit world. According to Ngarrindjeri 
belief, Ngurunderi established many laws and when 
someone dies the spirit follows Ngurunderi to 
Kangaroo Island and from there into the spirit 
world. Today Ngarrindjeri people still bury their 
dead with the head facing towards Kangaroo Island 
in the west. The association of this practice with 
Ngurunderi's laws is now only becoming widely 
known through the greater availability of the pub- 
lished versions of the Ngurunderi Dreaming. It is 
also due, though, to the activities of the South Aust- 
ralian Museum, its exhibition and the inclusion of 
this Dreaming story in new courses being developed 
by the South Australian Education Department. 

As previously mentioned, most of the available 
accounts of the Ngurunderi story are fragmentary. 
One of the earliest examples is provided by the 
missionary H.A.E. Meyer (1846). Here TMurrunduri' 
is described as controlling the life of the moon, who 
was a woman. When she becomes too thin he orders 
her to be driven away to eat roots and so recuperate. 
Meyer's version of the cutting up of the cod and 
the creation of the fish from the pieces varies con- 
siderably from Berndt's account. He says Pungn- 
gane caught a ponde and divided it into pieces, each 
becoming a cod. Strangely enough he threw them 
into the sea. The association with saltwater is to 
be expected here as Meyer's informants were Ram- 
indjeri people and therefore predominantly coastal 
dwellers. Tindale (1935) says that Pungngane is the 
equivalent of Nepele. Another early version of the 
Dreaming story was recorded by W.A. Cawthorne 
in the early days of British settlement and published 
in 1926. Here 'Ooroondovil'fCawthorne's spelling) 
is described as the 'first great spirit', who made the 
land, when all that existed was water. This is very 
different from Berndt's account of the Dreaming 
story in which Ngurunderi appears in the later 
phase of the Dreaming, after the land, sea and other 
basic forms have already been created. However, 
there are some similarities and interestingly, Caw- 
thorne says that after leaving Kangaroo Island, 
Ooroondovil \ . . went on westward, where he still 
lives, though by this time a very old man, and has 
taught the Europeans the use of firearms, how to 
make clothes, etc,' (Cawthorne 1926: 26). 

During research for the main exhibition and for 
the film, I worked with a number of Ngarrindjeri 
people who were at least partly familiar with the 
Dreaming of Ngurunderi. All knew only fragments 
of the detailed Dreaming story that must have once 
existed. One interview 1 had with a non-Aboriginal, 
former riverboat captain, Don Ledo, also provided 
some interesting information. As a child he grew 
up on the Murray and he spent much of his time 
with Aboriginal friends. He remembers listening to 
an old Aboriginal man telling, or rather acting out, 

the Dreaming story of Ngurunderi. George Taplin, 
the missionary who established Point McLeay settle- 
ment, records in his diary a corroboree he witnessed 
which incorporated song and dance and, as he dis- 
covered, concerned Ngurunderi (Taplin 1873, 1879). 
There would have been many such corroborees con- 
cerning Ngurunderi. When 1 first asked Don Ledo 
whether he knew anything about Ngurunderi, it 
took him a few minutes to recognise my initial crude 
attempt at pronunciation. However, he soon worked 
out that I meant, 'Ngoorroonderree' (primary stress 
on the first syllable, 'oo' as in 'book', and the *rr' 
trilled), as he pronounced it. Of the several Ngar- 
rindjeri people whom 1 have heard use the word 
Ngurunderi, most employ the same pronunciation 
as Ledo. The Ngarrindjeri spoke several different 
dialects and this probably accounts for some of the 
variations. For instance, some Coorong people pro- 
nounce the word with a V sound as in *but\ 

Initially, missionary George Taplin used the word 
'Ngurunderi' as a convenient translation for God. 
He wanted to use the local language and a modified 
version of the Dreaming as a tool in the conversion 
of the Ngarrindjeri to Christianity. However, he 
soon discovered that Ngurunderi was responsible 
for many customs with which he was loath to assoc- 
iate his God. He subsequently set about dissuading 
the use of Ngurunderi as the equivalent for his 
concept of the Christian God. There are a number 
of historical examples of his lack of success in this 
endeavour and a few Ngarrindjeri people have con- 
tinued to equate Ngurunderi with God. For 
example, this is the philosophy of the Ngarrindjeri 
church at Meningie, on Lake Albert. When consul- 
tations regarding the making of the film were 
started, I was told by various people including the 
Chairman of Point McLeay, Henry Rankine, that 
I would have to speak to Mrs Lola Sumner, as she 
was one of the most important and knowledgeable 
old people in the Ngarrindjeri community. She 
approved of the idea of the Museum making a film 
of the Ngurunderi Dreaming. She also pointed out 
that Ngurunderi was the Ngarrindjeri way of saying 
*God'. Her pronunciation of the word was the same 
as Ledo's and it was on her authority that we used 
it in the film. Mrs Sumner, who is now deceased, 
was recognised in the Ngarrindjeri community for 
her excellent knowledge of the language. 

The main Ngarrindjeri contributors to the devel- 
opment of the film's script were Henry Rankine, 
George TVevorrow, and Harvey Karpany. However, 
most of the detail used was from Berndt's version 
which was recorded in the late 1920s and early 1930s 
from information supplied by Ngarrindjeri people 
such as Albert Karloan. It was decided early during 
the film's planning that, ideally, a Ngarrindjeri nar- 
rator and Ngarrindjeri actors were required. Henry 
Rankine was selected by the South Australian Film 



Corporation to be the narrator and the actors for 
the film were chosen from the Point McLcay and 
Mcningic Aboriginal communities. The selected 
locations were as close as possible to the actual 
places mentioned in the Dreaming. The actors were: 
Henry Rankinc jnr. (Ngurunderi), Maxwell Rankine 
(Ncpele), Fred Sumner (Farampari), Susan Rankine 
(Wife) and Margaret Rankine (Wife), ll was felt 
necessary and agreed upon by Ngarrindjeri people 
tftai the actors be of a dark skin colouring for the 
authenticity of the film. From the beginning ll was 
also decided ihat identifiable facial shots should not 
be used in the film, in an attempt to retain a mys- 
tique about the identity of Ngurunderi. 

For the film, we paid particular attention to detail 
in the items of material culture used. We high- 
lighted, as much possible, the differences between 
the soul hern Australian Aboriginal cultures and 
peoples and those of the desert and the north. The 
baskets and mats used in the film were made by 
Yvonne Kooimatrie, Ellen Trevorrow and Glenda 
Rigrtey. These women have continued the Ngarrind- 
jeri basketry tradition in thai the technique and 
materials they use have not changed since at least 

Prior to the final version of the film being 
released a seminar was organised for the Ngarrind- 
jeri community during which they could view the 
Mm and comment on its development. The progress 
of the exhibition itself was also discussed. About 
two hundred Ngarrindjeri people attended this 

seminar and the response to the film was very 
encouraging. The film has certainly been successful 
in its role as an introduction to the Ngarrindjeri 
exhibition and it will also have applications outside 
the Museum in areas such as education and 
tourism. Its production, however, required a 
complicated series of consultations with members 
of the Ngarrindjeri community, particularly given 
the Museum's inexperience in the area of film- 
making. However, the finished product was worth 
the effort > due in no small way to the sensitive 
handling of the subject by Pepper Studios. Many 
opportunities exist for similar films to be made in 
the future and perhaps the education system should 
be seeking funding for their production. In the final 
analysis, however, the film 'Ngurunderi 1 illustrates 
the value for museums, of a close, co-operative, 
working relationship with the Aboriginal 
community and the value of film as a medium Tor 
effectively educating the wider Australian public 
about Aboriginal culture. 


L When the British first arrived in South Australia, the 
peoples of the Lower Murray were identified by a targe 
number of local clan and language-group designations. 
Today most of the local people from this area idenlify 
themselves as Ngarrindjeri people. The Ngarrindjeri com- 
munity numbers several thousand people and is spiead 
throughout the Murray River and south-east region of the 


ULRNDT, R.M 1940. Some aspects of Jaralde Culture, 

South Australia. Oceania 11: 164 168. 
CAWTHORNF, W.A. IV26. Rough notes on the manners 

and customs ot the Natives. R. Gtutf. Soc, Aust. S. 

A ttst. Branch Proc, 11: 1-31. 
MEYER. H.A, 1846. 'Manners and Customs of the 

Aborigines of the Encounter Bay Tribe'. Allen, 

TAPI IN, O. 1874. The Najrinyeri', Govt Printer, 


TAPLIN, C. 1379. Tolklore, Manners, Customs and 
Language:, of the South Australian Aborigines'. Govt 
Printer, Adelaide. 

VINDAl.E, N.B. 1935. The Legend of Waijunean, Jaralde 
Tribe, Lake Alcxandrina, South Australia, and (he 
phonetic system employed in its transcription. Rec. S. 
Aust. Mus, 5(3): 261-274. 

TINDALE, N.B. & PRIiTTY, G.L. 1978. Tlxeuision 
Guide. The Aboriginal Cultural liindfceapeofthe Lower 
Murray Valley. South Australian Museum, Adelaide 

S,.l. Ml-MMING, South Australian Museum. North terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. 
fef .V AuSt. Aft* 22(2): 1VI-I9L 1988. 


WATTS, C.H.S. 1988. Rec. S. Aust. Mm. 22 (1): 

p. 22 — Lower caption should read: 

FIGURES 7-13. 7, lateral view of aedeagus of 
H. alastairi; 8, lateral view of aedeagus and 
paramereof H. gibbus; 10, ditto//, alastairi; 11, 
lateral view of aedeagus and paramere of H. 
fuscatus; 12, dorsal view of aedeagus of H. 



WATTS, C.H.S. 1988. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 22 (1): 

p. 22 — Lower caption should read: 

FIGURES 7-13. 7, lateral view of aedeagus of 
H. alastairi; 8, lateral view of aedeagus and 
paramere of H. gibbus; 9, dorsal view of 
aedeagus of//, gibbus; 10, ditto//, alastairi; 11, 
lateral view of aedeagus and paramere of //. 
fuscatus; 12, dorsal view of aedeagus of //. 

p. 27 — Start of 'Remarks' should read: 

Does not appear to be as common as H. gibbus, 
nor as widespread. I have been unable to separate 
this species from H. gibbus except by the male 
aedeagus, which is narrow and sinuate, but broad 
in H. gibbus. 






ISSN 0081-2676 





k' hi- 




Appendicular osteological differences between I 

and Vomtmtus ursinus (Shaw. 1800) (Marsupialia: Yombatid 



■ A 

103 R. V. SOL'THCOTi 

Two new larval mites (Acarina: Erythraeidae) ectO] 

117 C. H. S. WATTS 

Revision o\ Australasian Hvdrophilus Mullen 1 "64 (Coleo 

(31 F. L. GOMMERS 

Diamonds from the Echunaa Goldfield. South Australia 

J 1 1 


139 R. J. LAMPERT k P. J. HL'GHES 

Early human occupation o\ the Flinders L„ 


Notes on a wooden implement tvoe from nor 

3 R. M. BAKER 

Yanvuwa canoe makina 





189 P. HORTON 

Review ot 'The Dynamic Partnership 

191 S. J. HEMMING 

Naurunderi: a Nearrindieri Dreamin 

A 5 Erratum for Volume 22i 

A 1 



r - 1 .